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230 arrested in Hong Kong's first major protests since virus began

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Riot police wearing protective masks stand guard inside Harbour City shopping mall operated by Wharf Holdings during a protest in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, May 10, 2020.

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong police arrested hundreds of people during weekend democracy protests - including a 12-year-old boy - officials said Monday, in the first major political unrest since the coronavirus outbreak began.

The disclosure came as the financial hub's pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam vowed to overhaul the city's education system, arguing its liberal studies curriculum helped fuel last year's huge protests.

On Sunday - two days after virus restrictions on gatherings were eased and bars and gyms allowed to reopen - riot police chased flash-mob protesters through multiple shopping malls.

They later used pepper spray and batons against protesters, bystanders and journalists in the district of Mong Kok.

Police said 230 people between the ages of 12 and 65 were arrested on various charges including unlawful assembly, assaulting a police officer and failing to produce identity documents.

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Others were also fined for breaching anti-coronavirus measures banning more than eight people gathering in public.

Hospital authorities said 18 people received treatment for injuries.

AFP

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