Striking scenes of protesters breaking into the US Capitol building have shocked people around the world.
The images of Donald Trump supporters clashing with police, breaking windows and occupying the Senate chamber have drawn criticism from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even the NATO secretary general.
In the final days of the outgoing US president’s administration, they were a powerful reminder of how bitterly divided the country is two months since Joe Biden won the race for the White House.
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Image: A protester who gained entry to the Capitol carries a Conferderate flag through it
Image: Some people were seen climbing the west wall of the the Capitol
Image: Police confront supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate on the second floor of the Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defences
Image: Police officers – one wearing a gas mask – took their positions to try and regain control of the building
Image: People were forced to shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S
The shocking pictures drew an appeal from Mr Biden to his soon-to-be-predecessor to “step up” and call off the protesters.
Mr Trump later urged them to “go home” and “respect our great people in law and order” but repeated claims the election was “stolen” – something that has been refuted multiple times in different US courts.
NBC reported several officials have said at least one improvised explosive device had been found on Capitol grounds.
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Image: A video showed some of those outside the building trying to break in by shattering the glass in windows
Image: A security officer appeals to people to leave the Capitol
Earlier, Mr Trump turned on Vice President Mike Pence, accusing him of lacking courage for not intervening to refute the election result.
Their fortunes were also dealt a big blow when the Democrats’ second candidate in the Georgia Senate run-off race was projected to win – meaning Mr Biden will be in control of the Senate.
Image: A stand-off ensued when supporters of Mr Trump confronted police
Image: Journalists and House press staff had to be evacuated by the Capitol
Source : Sky News