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Six Oregon protesters arrested, one killed in police confrontation

27 January 2016 13:49


Six people involved in the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in the US state of Oregon have been arrested following an exchange of gunfire with police that left one person dead, the FBI and Oregon State Police said.

Authorities said police and the armed occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge fired shots at each other during a traffic stop along Highway 395 on Tuesday around 4:25 pm local time.

The individual who was shot dead was the subject of a federal probable cause arrest, officials said, without identifying the deceased.

Those arrested include occupation leaders Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan Bundy.

The Oregonian newspaper reported that Bundy was on the way to a community meeting with several others, where he was scheduled to be a guest speaker, when his vehicle was confronted by authorities.

All of those in police custody face felony charges for conspiracy to use force and impeding federal officers.

An Oregon police officer stands by a vehicle on Highway 395 after five of the occupiers were arrested. (AP photo)

One of the arrested individuals was wounded and taken to a local hospital while in police custody.

The protesters seized the Malheur Refuge on January 2 following a march protesting the imprisonment of two ranchers. They have been in a standoff with local and federal law enforcement ever since.

The occupation marked the latest outbreak of anger against the US government over federally owned land in western states, long seen by political conservatives in the region as an intrusion on property rights and individual freedom.

The Bundys are the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, whose ranch was the scene of an armed demonstration against federal Bureau of Land Management officials in 2014.

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