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Hong Kong's government apologises over handling of extradition legislation

PROTESTS:A man pays respect on the site where a man fell to his death a day earlier after hanging a protest banner against the extradition bill on the scaffolding of a shopping mall in Hong Kong Picture: Vincent Yu/AP

Hong Kong's China-backed government has apologised over the handling of politically charged legislation that sparked massive street protests over the past week.

A statement on Sunday said that unspecified "deficiencies in the government's work had led to substantial controversies and disputes in society, causing disappointment and grief among the people".

It said chief executive Carrie Lam "apologised to the people of Hong Kong for this and pledged to adopt a most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements in serving the public".

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents jammed the city's streets on Sunday in a march protesting against the government's handling of a proposed extradition bill.

The legislation has stoked fears of expanding control from Beijing in the former British colony.

The crowds, walking slowly and shouting "withdraw" and "resign", spilled into the streets from Victoria Park and began marching towards the Central district where the government headquarters is located.

The demonstrators carried banners demanding that chief executive Carrie Lam resign and drop the legislation completely instead of just suspending it as she announced on Saturday.

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