A US government building has been seized by an armed group.
The National Wildlife refuge in the US state of Oregon was taken over during the Christmas holiday by a group that is angry about two farmers, convicted of arson four years ago, being ordered back to prison..
Dwight Hammond and his son Steven had set fires on public land to protect their property from wildfires.
“Seventy-three percent of the land in Harney county is owned by the federal government,” said Ammon Bundy, one of the gunmen. “We just cannot have that. The people cannot survive without their land and resources.”
Local media reported the group were not looking to hurt anybody, but they would not rule out violence if police tried to remove them.
On Saturday (January 2) group member and anti-Islam activist Jon Ritzheimer said in a video posted on line that people “need to take a stand,” refering to Dwight and Steven Hammond. “Dwight, do you want to die in prison labeled as a terrorist by these oppressors?
Another group member is a US Army veteran who reportedly helped organise militia snipers to target federal agents in a standoff in Nevada last year.
The group is demanding the release of the Hammonds.