PV International Desk : Hong Kong awoke to a third straight day of chaos Wednesday following a night of intense battles between pro-democracy protesters and riot police on a university campus that saw some of the most violent scenes in more than five months of unrest.

Morning commuters were faced with closed metro stations, a suspended rail line and dozens of cancelled bus services a day after police warned that the rule of law in the territory was on “the brink of total collapse”.

On Tuesday, the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus was the epicentre of the protests. The clashes raged well into the night, despite faculty and staff trying to mediate, with flames lighting up the night sky and dense clouds of acrid smoke.

Pitched battles also saw bricks being thrown on the streets of the Central business district and fires lit in shopping malls while tear gas, water canon and rubber bullets were used against protesters who responded with bricks and petrol bombs.