Dozens of Hong Kong police have descended on a pro-democracy protest zone to remove barricades in a dawn raid.

Officers wearing riot helmets arrived at the site early on Friday to take down some of the tents and canopies in Mong Kok.

Police said they were not trying to clear the site, which is an offshoot protest zone across the Victoria Harbour from the main occupied area in the city's financial district.

Police surrounded about 30 protesters, who did not put up resistance.

The operation was the latest to dismantle barricades after nearly three weeks of protests that have paralysed parts of the Asian financial hub.

The protesters, mostly students, are demanding full democracy from the Chinese government for the former British colony.

The protests initially gained wide public support but that has waned because of frustrations over traffic gridlock.

Source: AP And Reuters