Did You Know
Did You Know
Hong Kong authorities have begun clearing barricades at the main protest camp in the city centre, after more than two months of pro-democracy demonstrations.
The authorities had warned protestors to leave ahead of the operation, but some vowed to remain.
The number of protesters has fallen to a few hundred, from the tens of thousands who turned out in September.
Officials had given protesters a deadline of 09:00 (01:00GMT) to leave.
The BBC's Babita Sharma, who is in the area, says police built up their presence at the site during the early morning. Just after 09:00, bailiffs read out a final warning to leave to protesters.
Around 10:30, workers backed by police moved in and began dismantling barricades in one section of the site, using box cutters to remove ties.
The protesters want Beijing to allow free elections for the territory's next leader in 2017. China says everyone can vote but a pro-Beijing committee will screen candidates.
The clearance is the result of a court order obtained by a bus company which says the protests have disrupted its business.
While the order covers three portions of the Admiralty site, including the main Connaught Road area, Hong Kong police spokesman Cheung Tak-keung said officers would also clear blocked roads.
He said they would clear away barricades from a second protest site at Causeway Bay site "at an appropriate time".
Student leaders have said that they will remain at the Admiralty site as long as they can but will not offer violent resistance to the operation. They also say their movement is not over.
"If the government wants to use police to clear the site, don't forget, the clearance can't resolve political conflicts, it can't resolve society's dilemma,'' said Joshua Wong, leader of the Scholarism student group.
Some pro-democracy politicians have joined the students at the site and academics and a police watchdog are monitoring the clearance operation.
Some protesters, however, packed up their tents as Thursday dawned.
"I'll probably leave just before the action because my job would be difficult if my name was recorded by police," one 29-year-old protester told AFP news agency.
Clashes erupted when a third protest site, at Mong Kok, was cleared last month. On Wednesday, Hong Kong's top civil servant Carrie Lam urged students to leave the Admiralty site peacefully.
Later on Wednesday, more than 10,000 people gathered at the protest site, chanting pro-democracy slogans in what many saw as a farewell to the current demonstrations.