Pro-democracy protesters have clashed with police in Hong Kong for the first time in more than two weeks.

The skirmishes lasted about four hours early Thursday in the city's bustling Mong Kok neighborhood. Police say they arrested three people.

Tensions remain high as thousands of people camp out on the streets of three busy neighborhoods, demanding open nominations in elections for the city's leader. The protests erupted more than a month ago after Beijing ruled that a friendly committee would screen the candidates.

The newest skirmishes began when police attempted to arrest a man who was shining his cellphone light into officers' eyes. Protesters responded by surging at police lines, unleashing running confrontations that left one protester bleeding from the head.