Violent clashes broke out in Hong Kong as police tried to stop protesters storming the city’s parliament, while tens of thousands of people blocked key arteries in a show of strength against government plans to allow extraditions to China.

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and batons to disperse crowds of black-clad demonstrators — most of them young people and students calling for authorities to scrap the Beijing-backed law.

Rows of riot police battled protesters many wearing face masks, helmets or goggles and using umbrellas as shields who had gathered in the centre of the city ahead of a scheduled debate in the city’s legislature.

That debate had to be rescheduled “to a later date” after huge crowds seized major roads outside the parliament.