A demonstrator throws back a tear gas canister during a protest in Hong Kong on Saturday.
Hong Kong riot cops fired tear gas and baton-charged protesters who retaliated with a barrage of stones, bottles and bamboo poles on Saturday, as a standoff in a working-class neighbourhood descended into violence, breaking an uneasy peace that had lasted several days.
Earlier thousands of demonstrators, many wearing hard hats and gas masks, marched through the industrial Kwun Tong area, where they were blocked by dozens of riot police with shields and batons outside a police station.
Frontline protesters — known as "braves" — pulled together a barricade of traffic barriers and bamboo construction poles. As the afternoon wore on some fired stones from slingshots, prompting a charge from police, wielding batons and pepper spray.
Tears gas swept across the road as protesters retreated, leaving a trail of broken bottles and at least one small fire in their wake.
Several of the black-clad protesters were detained as officers swept through.
Hong Kong's police force have become the target of the protesters' ire for their perceived heavy-handed response to the months of demonstrations.
Antipathy has soared towards the police, who have used baton charges, rubber bullets and tear gas against hardcore protesters, but are also accused of beating peaceful demonstrators.
"I've never seen Hong Kong in such a situation. The youngsters who come out have put their future at stake... they are doing this for Hong Kong. There might be some things we don't agree with, like the 'braves' who tend to charge. But let's think about why they do that?"
The city had appeared to have pulled back from a nosedive into violence, with the last serious clashes taking place a week and a half ago just after the city's airport was paralysed by demonstrators.
But tension rippled across Saturday's march, where a number of frontline radical demonstrators known as "braves" had gathered.
"I understand being peaceful will not solve the problem," 19-year-old student protester Ryan told AFP, giving one name.
"The government won't respond to peaceful protest. If I am arrested it is because I come out to speak for justice."
Police chased hundreds of protesters, holding a line underneath a bridge but threatening a new charge.
"I've never seen Hong Kong in such a situation," 65-year-old Dee Cheung told AFP earlier, before explaining why he joined the protests.
"The youngsters who come out have put their future at stake... they are doing this for Hong Kong.
"There might be some things we don't agree with, like the 'braves' who tend to charge. But let's think about why they do that?"
Protests started against a proposed law that would have allowed extradition to China, but have bled into wider calls for democracy and police accountability in the semi-autonomous city.
A large group of mostly young protesters marched down the middle of Hennessey Road, a main shopping drag in the Causeway Bay area, as a rally was held in nearby Victoria Park.
Activists on Saturday threw petrol bombs and bricks at the gritty industrial area of Kwun Tong, a densely populated area of the Chinese territory on the east of the Kowloon peninsula.
The once stable international hub has been convulsed by weeks of huge, sometimes violent rallies calling for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability.
Authorities said 11 people had been arrested on Saturday on various charges including assault, possession of offensive weapons and unlawful assembly in the northern district of Yuen Long, close to the border with China.
The vehicle was bringing about 30 people home from a trip to the beach when the driver lost control near the town of T'boli in the latest deadly crash on the nation's dangerous roads.
An explosion near an election rally attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani killed 24 people and injured 31 others, a health official said, but Ghani was unhurt according to an aide.
The 37-year-old woman from Colorado performed her record-breaking swim a year after receiving treatment for breast cancer, and dedicated her achievement to fellow cancer survivors.
French police are evacuating at least 900 migrants from a gym and a nearby tent camp near the English Channel, citing concerns about security and hygiene. A spokesman for the Nord region said the migrants being removed from Tuesday