Police detain a woman during a flash mob to block roads in the Central district in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Photo: Dale De La Rey/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong closed all schools including kindergartens Wednesday as protests paralyzed the city for a third day, the BBC reports.

What's happening: Many business and some public transport services also closed as riot police clashed with some protesters in parts of the Asian financial hub, Reuters notes.

  • After running battles with demonstrators over Tuesday night, riot police were seen using batons on some Hong Kongers and wrestling others to the ground near the Chinese territory's stock exchange, per Reuters.

What they're saying: "Our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown," Senior Police Superintendent Kong Wing-heung said late Tuesday, AP reports. "Masked rioters have lost control and committed insane acts like throwing trash, bicycles and large objects onto MTR tracks, hanging trash on overhead power lines."

Driving the news: Months of unrest escalated this week. On Monday, a protester was shot by police who opened fire on demonstrators during clashes in the city at the start of rush hour on Monday Morning.

The big picture: Authorities hoped the October withdrawal of an extradition bill that triggered the city's protests would quell the unrest. However, protesters are concerned that China may quash the high degree of autonomy they've enjoyed since the former British colony was returned to the country in 1997.

Go deeper: Violence in Hong Kong as leader denounces "enemies of the people"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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