The Latest: Protesters sorry for HK airport disruptions

Protesters surround a man carrying a t-shirt baring the words "I love police" who protesters claimed was a police officer from mainland China, during a demonstration at the Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Riot police clashed with pro-democracy protesters at Hong Kong's airport late Tuesday night, a chaotic end to a second day of demonstrations that caused mass flight cancellations at the Chinese city's busy transport hub. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Protesters in Hong Kong are apologizing to the public after they disrupted flights for two consecutive days at one of the busiest airports in the world

HONG KONG — The Latest on Hong Kong pro-democracy protests (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Protesters in Hong Kong are apologizing to the public after they disrupted flights for two consecutive days at one of the busiest airports in the world.

They also said Wednesday that they were sorry that some demonstrators became "easily agitated and overreacted."

On two separate occasions at the airport Tuesday, protesters surrounded and held captive two men from mainland China whom they believed to be spies. One man is a reporter for the Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper, and the identity of the other man remains unclear.

More than 300 flights were cancelled Tuesday and Monday out of the Hong Kong airport after thousands of pro-democracy protesters packed into the main terminal. Operations were returning to normal Wednesday.

___

8:30 a.m.

Check-in counters have reopened at Hong Kong's airport after being shut during protests the previous day.

About three dozen protesters remained camped out in the arrivals area Wednesday morning. Flights appeared to be operating normally.

The airport closed check-in for remaining flights late Tuesday afternoon as protesters swarmed the terminal and blocked access to immigration for departing passengers.

More than 100 flights were cancelled on the fifth consecutive day protesters occupied the airport. Airlines had still been trying to clear a backlog of more than 200 flights from Monday.

The airport disruptions escalated a summer of demonstrations aimed at what many Hong Kong residents see as an increasing erosion of the freedoms they were promised in 1997 when Communist Party-ruled mainland China took over what had been a British colony.

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