HONG KONG (AP) — Satellite photos show what appear to be armored personnel carriers and other vehicles belonging to the China's paramilitary People's Armed Police parked in a sports complex in the city of Shenzhen.

Some have interpreted it as a threat from Beijing to use increased force against pro-democracy protesters across the border in Hong Kong.

The pictures collected on Monday by Maxar's WorldView show 500 or more vehicles sitting on and around the soccer stadium at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center just across the harbor from Asian financial hub that has been rocked by more than two months of demonstrations.

Chinese state media have said only the exercises had been planned before and were not directly related to the unrest.

Beijing says the protests were beginning to show the "sprouts of terrorism."

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