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Hong Kong protests

Violence brings Hong Kong to "brink of total breakdown," police say

Battles disrupt university classes and shut down morning trains

Demonstrators stand with shields and umbrellas during an anti-government protest at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin on Nov. 12.   © Reuters

HONG KONG  (Reuters) -- Police fired tear gas at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong's Central financial district and at demonstrators on the other side of the harbour on Tuesday as a senior officer said the unrest had brought the city to "the brink of total breakdown".

The clashes took place a day after police shot a protester at close range and a man was doused with petrol and set on fire in some of the worst violence in the Chinese-ruled city in decades.

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