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Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says protesters 'paralysing' the city are selfish

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Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday said protesters who are trying to "paralyse" the city were extremely selfish and hoped all universities and schools would urge students not to participate in violence.

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday said protesters who are trying to "paralyse" the city were extremely selfish and hoped all universities and schools would urge students not to participate in violence.

She also praised residents who volunteered to clear roadblocks set up by protesters. She said she respected everyone who went to work despite the difficult conditions.

Ms Lam was speaking a day after police shot a protester and a man was set on fire in some of the most dramatic scenes to grip the city during the more than five months of civil unrest.

On Monday, Ms Lam said that the violence roiling the former British colony exceeded protesters' demands for democracy and demonstrators are now the people's enemy.

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Protesters clashed with police into the early hours of Tuesday after fierce skirmishes throughout Monday. The city was bracing for further disruptions a day after many workers were sent home early and shops and restaurants shut by the evening as the violence escalated.

An editorial in the state-backed China Daily newspaper condemned the violence on Monday and took aim at the "leniency of Hong Kong judges".

"Allowing (protesters) to apply for bail on easy terms and handing down extraordinarily light sentences has also served to encourage inhuman terrorist acts," it said.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG