Citywide protests and violent clashes bring chaos to Hong Kong PHOTO

Pro-democracy protesters challenging China's rule of Hong Kong on Thursday choked the city for a fourth straight working day, firing arrows at police, barricading roads and disrupting transport links, as schools and businesses closed, SIA reports referring to AFP.

The territory has entered its sixth month of protests, which have morphed from mass rallies into a "blossom everywhere" campaign of debilitating disruption by groups of black-clad mainly student demonstrators.Key arterial roads were clogged by brick and bamboo barricades, a major cross-harbour tunnel was closed while metro stations and bus services were shut down, as travel chaos gripped the city of 7.5 million people.Protests began in June as a kickback against an attempt by the city's Beijing-backed government to hustle through an extradition bill.

Violence has intensified this week across the financial hub, leaving several people in critical condition, stretching police resources and hammering the transport network.The government said nearly 70 people were hospitalised on Wednesday -- two in a critical condition, including a 70-year-old man hit by a brick as he tried to clear a roadblock.Protesters are also calling for accountability for Hong Kong's police force, which is accused of heavy-handed tactics and widespread abuses.But Hong Kong's government has refused to cede more ground since binning the extradition bill, defending the police response to an unprecedented crisis.

A commentary in the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, said strong measures were required to contain and the extinguish the violence

The last three days of rolling clashes between police and protesters has sunk the city deeper into crisis.

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