More than 140 Native Americans and other protesters have been arrested by police in the US state of North Dakota in a tense standoff between law enforcement and demonstrators seeking to halt construction of a controversial oil pipeline.
At least 141 protesters were arrested on Thursday evening and Friday morning as officers attempt to clear a camp on private property in the path of the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Officers in riot helmets used pepper spray and shot beanbag rounds on some of the estimated 330 protesters as helicopters flew overhead.
Police blocked the highway leading to protest site with cars and burning tires, giving the scene a war zone-like appearance.
The protesters have been demonstrating for several months, and dozens have been arrested. Police expect additional protests, and possibly more arrests, in the coming days.