Pro-democracy protesters at their main camp in central Hong Kong are bracing themselves for further police intervention following a night of clashes.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning officers launched an operation to clear away barricades after demonstrators swarmed into a tunnel on a key four-lane highway.
Using pepper spray on those who refused to move, it was the toughest police action against the largely student protesters in more than a week.
At least 45 people are said to have been arrested.
By mid-morning police had largely left the area.
Protesters have been demanding full democracy for the former British colony in the wake of restrictions placed by China on the city’s next election in 2017.
Both the Hong Kong and Beijing governments have called the protests illegal.