The Latest: Hong Kong protesters vandalize Xinhua office

International

Firefighters stand outside the offices of China’s Xinhua News Agency after its windows were shattered during protests in Hong Kong, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Hong Kong riot police fired multiple rounds of tear gas and used a water cannon Saturday to break up a rally by thousands of masked protesters demanding meaningful autonomy after Beijing indicated it could tighten its grip on the Chinese territory. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on protests in Hong Kong (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

Protesters have vandalized the Hong Kong office of China’s official Xinhua News Agency for the first time during the months-long anti-government demonstrations, smashing windows and doors.

Local media showed scenes of the aftermath that included a fire in the lobby of the Xinhua office in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district, with shattered windows and graffiti sprawled over the wall. It was unclear if there were people in the building.

Protesters have been targeting Chinese banks and businesses perceived to be linked to mainland China as anger builds up against Beijing, which the protesters accuse of infringing on the freedoms guaranteed when Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.

Earlier Saturday, police fired tear gas and a water cannon in the area after some protesters hurled gasoline bombs at them in another weekend of chaos.

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4 p.m.

Defying a police ban, thousands of black-clad masked protesters are streaming into Hong Kong’s central shopping district for another rally demanding a meaningful autonomy after Beijing indicated it could tighten its grip on the territory.

The protests began in June over a now-shelved plan to allow extraditions to mainland China but have since swelled into a movement seeking direct elections for Hong Kong’s leaders as the city was promised it when Britain returned it to China in 1997.

Scores of protesters occupied streets at the upscale Causeway Bay shopping area Saturday, chanting pro-democracy slogans. Another big crowd has converged at the nearby Victoria Park.

Riot police conducted searches and issued warnings that the rally was illegal and protesters violating a government ban on masks.

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