People remove the metal barricades that protesters set up to block off main roads near the heart of the city's financial district, Hong Kong Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. (AP/Vincent Yu)=
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Chaos erupted in central Hong Kong Monday as dozens of masked men rushed barricades at the city's main pro-democracy site, sparking renewed accusations that authorities are using hired thugs to disperse demonstrators.Groups of men, many wearing surgical masks, descended on the front lines of the rally at Admiralty near Hong Kong's central business district, triggering clashes with protesters, just hours after police had moved in to take down some barriers.Demonstrators, who have come under attack from organized crime gangs known as triads at another flashpoint demonstration site in Mongkok, shouted: Pro-democracy lawmakers rounded on the authorities over the clashes.In previous clashes at the secondary site of Mongkok 10 days ago, police said eight of the 19 arrested had triad backgrounds.Furious pro-democracy protesters also accused the authorities of using thugs Monday.Chinese police detained two Beijing activists who took part in a Hong Kong pro-democracy march, a friend said Monday.
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