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Rally marks Tiananmen Square anniversary

About 10,000 people in this British colony staged a rally and march Sunday to mark the second anniversary of the military crackdown on China's democracy movement. The crackdown triggered fears here because Hong Kong reverts to Chinese rule in 1997.

Demonstrators gathered at a downtown park before marching three miles to the Xinhua News Agency, China's de facto embassy in the territory. The protesters carried placards calling for the release of dissidents, sang songs and chanted slogans.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were killed when the Chinese army was called in to suppress the democracy movement on June 3-4, 1989. Many other people were arrested and jailed without trial throughout China.

The center of the movement was Tiananmen Square, which the protesters made their headquarters.

Organizers said about 20,000 people participated in the protest, but police put the figure closer to 10,000. Last year, about 80,000 showed up for a similar rally.

Szeto Wah, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, told demonstrators Hong Kong is "China's outpost of the democracy movement."