In pictures: Turmoil as pro-Trump protesters break through US Capitol security

Striking scenes of protesters breaking into the US Capitol building have shocked people around the world.

The images of Donald Trump supporters clashing with police, breaking windows and occupying the Senate chamber have drawn criticism from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even the NATO secretary general.

In the final days of the outgoing US president’s administration, they were a powerful reminder of how bitterly divided the country is two months since Joe Biden won the race for the White House.

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A supporter of President Donald Trump carries a Conferderate battle on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
Image:A protester who gained entry to the Capitol carries a Conferderate flag through it
Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Image:Some people were seen climbing the west wall of the the Capitol
Police confront supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
Image:Police confront supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate on the second floor of the Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defences
U.S. Capitol police officers take positions as protestors enter the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election results on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS
Image:Police officers – one wearing a gas mask – took their positions to try and regain control of the building
People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Image:People were forced to shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S

The shocking pictures drew an appeal from Mr Biden to his soon-to-be-predecessor to “step up” and call off the protesters.

Mr Trump later urged them to “go home” and “respect our great people in law and order” but repeated claims the election was “stolen” – something that has been refuted multiple times in different US courts.

NBC reported several officials have said at least one improvised explosive device had been found on Capitol grounds.

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 US Capitol police ordered the evacuation of several buildings, and clashes were reported between police and protesters.
Image:A video showed some of those outside the building trying to break in by shattering the glass in windows
A security officer gestures after supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump breached security defenses at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
Image:A security officer appeals to people to leave the Capitol

Earlier, Mr Trump turned on Vice President Mike Pence, accusing him of lacking courage for not intervening to refute the election result.

Their fortunes were also dealt a big blow when the Democrats’ second candidate in the Georgia Senate run-off race was projected to win – meaning Mr Biden will be in control of the Senate.

A supporter of President Donald Trump confronts police as Trump supporters demonstrate on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
Image:A stand-off ensued when supporters of Mr Trump confronted police
U.S. Capitol Police evacuate journalists and House press staff members from the Capitol to a connected office building, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Image:Journalists and House press staff had to be evacuated by the Capitol

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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