HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police began on Monday to remove barricades erected by pro-democracy protesters who have occupied several sites around the Chinese-controlled city for two weeks, according to protest group Occupy Central.

At the main protest site, around government offices in the downtown district of Admiralty, scores of student protesters faced off with police who were massing in the area, a Reuters witness said. The Hong Kong government has said the demonstrations are illegal.