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One Dead as FBI Arrests Oregon Standoff Leaders

  • VOA News

FILE - Ammon Bundy sits at a desk he's using at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, Jan. 22, 2016. The FBI arrested Bundy as well as several others Tuesday night, Jan. 26, 2016.

FILE - Ammon Bundy sits at a desk he's using at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, Jan. 22, 2016. The FBI arrested Bundy as well as several others Tuesday night, Jan. 26, 2016.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested the leaders of a group that occupied a wildlife refuge in the northwestern U.S. state of Oregon for nearly a month.

Leader Ammon Bundy and several others left the refuge Tuesday and were reportedly driving to speak at a community meeting when authorities stopped their car.

An FBI statement said shots were fired during the joint operation with state police, leaving one suspect dead and another wounded.

Bundy and his brother Ryan were arrested along with Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan Waylen Payne. In separate arrests, authorities also took Peter Santilli and Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy into custody.

They are all charged with felonies of conspiracy to impede U.S. officers from discharging their official duties through force, intimidation or threats.

The refuge standoff began January 2 when Bundy led a group of supporters to seize the site.

They complained about the way the federal government manages the land it owns and called for the refuge to be returned to local authorities.

For weeks, the FBI and local law enforcement monitored the protest but took no direct action to remove the protesters, who gradually grew in size with supporters arriving from other parts of the country.

Those arrested Tuesday included people from as far away as Arizona and Ohio.

But locals had a mixed view of the protest, both sympathizing with complaints about public land management and opposing the group's occupation as the way to address the situation.

Federal authorities were at the refuge after the arrests, but it was not clear how many protesters remained.

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