Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday (August 27th) that the escalation of violence during the anti-government protests that rocked the former British colony for three months was of growing concern.

Carrie Lam, whose resignation is demanded by the protesters, was speaking for the first time since the clashes between protesters and law enforcement officials who staked rallies held last weekend. She said she trusted the local government's ability to handle the crisis itself and again called for a dialogue.

But Carrie Lam said it was not a good time to set up an independent commission to investigate the protests, one of the main demands of the protest movement.

Water cannons

Hong Kong police arrested 86 people, including several minors, the youngest aged 12, after the clashes over the weekend. She used water cannons and tear gas to repel the demonstrators who were throwing Molotov cocktails. Twenty-one policemen were wounded in the violence, authorities said.

The semi-autonomous territory, one of the world's major financial centers, has been experiencing its most serious political crisis since June, when it was handed over to China in 1997. Born out of opposition to a now-suspended bill to allow extradition to In mainland China, the movement has become a broader campaign for a more democratic system and the protection of freedoms.

With Reuters