A man is cuffed by police and taken from the confrontation of pro-democracy student protesters and angry local residents in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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Violent scuffles broke out in one of Hong Kong's most famous and congested shopping districts Friday, as hundreds of supporters of Chinese rule stormed tents and ripped down banners belonging to pro-democracy protesters, forcing many to retreat.Tens of thousands have taken to Hong Kong's streets in the past week to demand full democracy in the former British colony, including a free voting system when they come to choose a new leader in 2017 .Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying agreed to open talks with pro-democracy protesters but defied demands that he resign. The Hong Kong Federation of Students, one of the main groups behind the protest movement, accused the government and police of conspiring to provoke attacks on protesters in Mong Kok, and threatened to pull out of planned talks.In Mong Kok, where notorious Triad criminal gangs operate bars, nightclubs and massage parlors in high-rise apartment blocks packed together, about 1,000 Beijing supporters clashed with around 100 protesters, spitting and throwing water bottles in a sideshow to the main protests.While Leung made an apparent concession by offering talks, Beijing restated its resolute opposition to the protests and a completely free vote in Hong Kong.
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