An anti-government protester throws a Molotov cocktail during a demonstration near Central Government Complex in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Police fired a water cannon and tear gas at protesters who lobbed Molotov cocktails outside the Hong Kong government office complex Sunday, as violence flared anew after thousands of pro-democracy supporters marched through downtown in defiance of a police ban. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Hong Kong govt: Violence is harmful, won't solve divisions

September 15, 2019 - 10:07 pm

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's government reiterated that violence is not the solution after an unapproved march descended into chaos with police firing tear gas and water cannons after demonstrators lobbed Molotov cocktails at government buildings, blocked traffic and set fires.

The government in a statement late Sunday said violence would only harm the community and it was sincerely trying to solve problems.

Anti-government protests have taken place since June and increasingly have been marked by violence and clashes with police. They were sparked by an extradition bill many Hong Kong residents see as an example of the territory's autonomy being eroded under Chinese rule.

The protesters want their demands for greater democracy and police accountability met, and some of them defend violence as necessary since peaceful demonstrations haven't effected change.

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