HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s airport halted flights on Monday, blaming demonstrators for the disruption, while China said the anti-government protests that have swept the city over the past two months had begun to show “sprouts of terrorism”.
The airport authority said it was working with airlines to resume flights from 6 a.m. on Tuesday, but the developments raised the stakes sharply after a weekend of skirmishes during which both activists and police toughened their stances.
The precise trigger for the airport’s closure was not clear, since protesters occupying the arrivals hall for four days have been peaceful. Most of them had left shortly after midnight, but around 50 remained, discussing their next move.
“This is about our freedom,” a 24-year-old protester wearing a mask, who gave his name only as Yu, told Reuters during the evening. “Why should we leave?”