Service restored at Hong Kong airport in wake of protests

Service restored at Hong Kong airport in wake of protests
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Flights resumed at Hong Kong's airport Wednesday after delays caused by two days of protests marked by clashes between pro-democracy advocates and city officials, The Associated Press reported.

Some protesters remain in the airport, but flights are reportedly operating normally.

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“It is not our intention to cause delays to your travels and we do not want to cause inconvenience to you,” said an emailed statement from a group of protesters obtained by AP. “We ask for your understanding and forgiveness as young people in Hong Kong continue to fight for freedom and democracy.”

Following a largely peaceful three-day sit-in, flights were first canceled on Monday after the protest escalated.

Police reportedly fired tear gas inside a subway station on Sunday night and charged at protesters on an escalator in another station.

The larger protests following the clash left more than 200 flights reportedly canceled on Monday.

Hong Kong police said they arrested five people during clashes at the airport Tuesday night after protesters had blocked off access to immigration for departing passengers.

The semi-autonomous city has been wracked by protests for months initially over a proposed bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to China. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended the bill, but that has failed to stem the protests, with many locals expressing fear it could be revived and expand China's control over the city.

The city was guaranteed a legal system independent of Beijing when it was transferred from British rule under a "one country, two systems" order. Pro-democracy activists worry that arrangement could be threatened.