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Riot police clash with protesters as Hong Kong march descends into violence

What we covered here

  • Protest in Yuen Long: Thousands marched in the northern Hong Kong town of Yuen Long Saturday, close to the Chinese border, to protest a mob attack in the town's subway station that left 45 people injured last weekend.
  • Mass police clearance operation: For more than four hours, Hong Kong police attempted to clear protesters by firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Police had previously refused to grant the protest permission to go head, effectively rendering it illegal.
  • Escalating violence: The protest marked the eighth consecutive weekend of mass demonstrations in Hong Kong, as protests against a now-suspended extradition bill broaden to cover a host of demands, including calls for greater democracy.
2:02 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

We have now concluded our live blog for the protests in Yuen Long. Please follow any further updates on our story here.
2:02 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

23 sent to hospital after protesters and police clash in Yuen Long

Clashes between protesters and police in Yuen Long resulted in 23 people being sent to hospitals, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority told CNN.

Twenty of the injured are men and three are women, all are between 15 and 60 years old.

Ten people have already been discharged but two remain in serious condition and ten are in stable condition.

1:48 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Fewer than 50 protesters left at Yuen Long station

Umbrellas are seen left behind by protesters after police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse them during a demonstration in the district of Yuen Long. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Fewer than 50 demonstrators now remain in Yuen Long station, following today's large-scale protest.

Riot police forced protesters to retreat to the station after trying to clear crowds for more than four hours. Police have now surrounded the building as the final demonstrators slowly begin to leave.

The authorities took strong action against the Saturday protest which was earlier declared illegal, having not been officially authorized by the police.

Both pepper spray and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowd, which at its height organizers claimed numbered more than 100,000.

But it was a baton charge by riot police into the station as the protest drew to an end which is likely to become the defining image of the demonstration, with protesters comparing it to the events of last weekend when commuters in Yuen Long were attacked by alleged gang members.

2:05 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

After police subway push, demonstrators say they're not going anywhere

Police block the entrance o CNN/Josh Berlinger

If the police decision to storm the Yuen Long subway was an attempt to scare away the last of the protesters, it appears to have failed -- at least for the moment.

The last train for Hong Kong's Central station leaves Yuen Long at 12.26 a.m., in just over an hour.

In the meantime, the last remaining protesters inside the station say they are determined to stay until police leave and they are able to exit freely.

Police, however, have now surrounded the station and don't seem to be going anywhere.

11:15 a.m. ET, July 27, 2019

WATCH: The moment Hong Kong police stormed Yuen Long subway

12:06 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Violence erupts at Yuen Long station for second weekend in a row

An injured protester is treated in Yuen Long station CNN/Rebecca Wright
The decision by riot police to storm the subway station has drawn unfavorable comparisons among demonstrators with the events of last weekend, when protesters returning home to Yuen Long were viciously attacked by a mob wielding iron bars and bamboo sticks.

Several protesters were knocked to the ground and injured when police entered Yuen Long station just moments ago. Paramedics are now on the scene and attending to the wounded.

Blood stains can be seen across the station floor. Rather than forcing the protesters to leave many are now vowing to stay on. It is not clear whether police plan to reenter the station.

10:33 a.m. ET, July 27, 2019

"Free Hong Kong": Defiant cry goes up from cornered demonstrators

Protesters trapped by riot police in the Yuen Long subway station are chanting "Free Hong Kong."

Chaos briefly reigned inside the station when riot police charged up the stairs with batons, hitting protesters and using pepper spray.

Police wait at the entrance to Yuen Long station where they have cornered dozens of protesters. CNN/Rebecca Wright

Protesters responded by using fire extinguishers to try and push the police back.

Blood stains were clearly visible on the floor of the subway station after police left.

Blood stains seen on the floor of the subway station after police stormed it. CNN/Josh Berlinger

12:25 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Police say protesters could face up to five years in jail

Police have warned protesters in Yuen Long that if they don't leave, they could be arrested and charged.

"The protestors are participating in an unauthorized assembly under the Public Order Ordinance and may be liable to a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment," a statement from Hong Kong's police said.

Riot police charged into the Yuen Long subway station where demonstrators had been peacefully gathering, arresting at least one protester and spraying pepper spray into the crowds.

12:26 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Riot police storm Yuen Long subway station

Hong Kong's riot police have entered the Yuen Long subway station, charging at protesters who were attempting to peacefully leave the demonstration.

At least one protester appears to have been arrested, while others are yelling at the police from behind the ticket gates amid scenes of panic and confusion.

Some of those gathered are now throwing things at the riot police, who are firing pepper spray into the crowds.