A long-running dispute over an oil pipeline turned violent overnight in North Dakota as hundreds of armed state and local police and members of the National Guard battled into the early hours of Friday to evict hundreds of protesters from private land in the path of the proposed Dakota Access line. The peaceful protest quickly turned violent when activists became surrounded by assault vehicles and the more than 150 law-enforcement officials in riot gear, KFYR-TV reported. Officers fired bean bags and pepper spray for more than six hours, trying to physically push demonstrators back to their campsite, as protesters lit debris on fire and threw Molotov cocktails in retreat, according to state emergency-response personnel. At least 141 protesters were arrested, Morton County Sheriff Public Information Officer Donnell Hushka said. Activists claim the property in dispute is owned by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe under a 19th-century treaty. The move sharply escalates a dispute over Native American rights and the pipeline’s environmental impact on the Standing Rock tribe. One woman who was arrested reportedly pulled out a pistol and fired three times at officers, narrowly missing a deputy.
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