The US House and Senate were forced into emergency recess on Wednesday after protesters supportive of outgoing President Donald Trump breached security cordons and entered the Capitol building, in what has been called an ‘attempted coup’. It’s understood one woman is in a ‘critical condition’ after being shot in the chest.
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“Without objection, the Chair declares the House in recess,” congressman Jim McGovern said, banging down the gavel as loud shouts and disturbances could be heard in the public galleries in the chamber.
Officials at the US Capitol declared a lockdown, and lawmakers said on Twitter that they were sheltering in place in their offices, as protesters – some of them holding Trump flags – were seen walking through the building. We understand some shots have been fired within the building. Representative Dan Kildee tweeted from inside the chamber.
“Chamber security and Capitol Police have their guns drawn as protesters bang on the front door of the chamber. We have been instructed to lie down on the floor and put on our gas masks. We have been instructed to lie down on the floor and put on our gas masks.”Dan Kildee
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Meanwhile, the departing president – who had run out of avenues to retain his position as head of state long ago – has Tweeted the following message for his supporters.
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you! Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country.”Donald Trump
- Additional reporting from AFP