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HONG KONG — Police arrested key student leaders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests — including 18-year-old Joshua Wong — as they cleared barricades in one volatile district on Wednesday. The move threw into doubt the future of a two-month-old movement seeking free elections in the former British colony. Lester Shum, deputy secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, also was arrested. In the second day of the operation to clear one of three protest zones, police in helmets, some equipped with backpack pepper sprayers, swiftly removed metal barricades, tents, canopies and other obstructions in Mong Kok, a blue-collar neighborhood that has been the flash point of clashes.
Police said a total of 116 people were arrested in scuffles the previous night which also injured 20 officers. Many other protesters scattered, but a handful faced off briefly against dozens of police on a side street, determined to await supporters that they expected to join them in the evening after getting off school or work. Mong Kok has been home to a more raucous group of protesters than at the two other sites around the city. Previous efforts to clear the area have backfired, sending more people into the streets to confront police.
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