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HK protesters remain at govt HQ as deadline looms

world Updated: Oct 06, 2014 01:05 IST
Hong Kong

Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters remained stubbornly encamped outside the city's government headquarters in the early hours of Monday, with no sign that they would meet a deadline to clear the area by morning.

Embattled Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying has said his administration is determined to "take all necessary actions to restore social order" and allow government staff to resume work by Monday morning.

Leung was forced to close the Central Government Offices on Friday because of the crowds of protesters blocking its access roads, with 3,000 civil servants unable to go to work.

But several thousand defiant protesters remained camped in Hong Kong's Admiralty district on a major highway next to the government complex, an AFP reporter said.

"We will stay here all night and wait for the police to attack," said 20-year-old protester Ken Chung, a mask covering his face.

"It's going to be a long fight."

But there was a relaxed atmosphere amongst the largely youthful crowds, who sat chatting in small groups, checking their phones and sleeping on the floor as Monday began.

Many expressed doubt that the police would forcibly clear them from the highway.

"I heard some rumours that the police will clear tonight -- but they say that every day," said Karen Kwong, who has been coming to the protest for seven days.

Admiralty is home to the largest of several protest camps that have sprung up across the semi-autonomous Chinese city in the last week as tens of thousands took to the streets to demand Beijing grants free elections.

Sprawling over a large stretch of a major multi-lane highway, the Admiralty camp has been the focal point of protests that have brought key parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill.