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An explosion cause by police munition is seen while supporters of president Trump gather in front of US Capitol

After Vice President Pence was rushed out of the Senate chamber, the Capitol was locked down as protesters breached the building

As Congress met to count the Electoral College votes and confirm President-elect Joe Biden as the nation’s next leader on Wednesday, Trump supporters protesting the election results stormed the Capitol building, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to be ushered out of the Senate chamber.

Hundreds of Trump supporters pushed through metal barricades at the back of the Capitol building about 1 p.m. Wednesday, the Washington Post reported, running past security guards and breaking fences while chanting “USA! USA!” 

Stunning footage of protesters fighting with federal police officers soon began flooding Twitter, leading queries such as “Where is the National Guard” to begin trending, along with reports that staffers were temporarily evacuated from two buildings on Capitol Hill.

These were followed by images of protesters inside the Capitol building, and outside the Senate chamber. The debate between Senators was stopped mid-speech, and both the Senate and the House went into recess.

Videos of the skirmishes outside the Capitol show protesters tearing down rows of metal barricades around the building before aggressively confronting uniformed officers. Police have not said if any arrests have been made.

The District of Columbia National Guard has activated 340 members to support the D.C. Metropolitan Police during the pro-Trump demonstrations in response to a request from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The U.S. Capitol was eventually locked down with lawmakers inside. The Associated Press reported that a recorded announcement played inside the Capitol explained that due to an “external security threat,” no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex.

Earlier in the day, President Trump held a rally in the nation’s capital protesting the election results, and falsely claiming that he had won. He took the stage before a crowd that stretched from the Washington Monument to the Ellipse. Some left the rally early to begin marching toward the Capitol

Trump had said he would join their march to the Capitol, but returned to the White House instead. After protesters breached the Capitol, Trump tweeted that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts.”

He later tweeted for his supporters to “stay peaceful!” and support law enforcement

This is a developing story that will continue to be updated.

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