Car rams through counter-protesters at far-right event in Virginia

Published: 13 August 2017 Image credit: Reuters

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One person has died and 19 people have been injured after a car ploughed through hundreds of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in the U.S. state of Virginia.

Local police say that a 32-year-old woman was killed in the attack, and two more people – believed to be Virginia State Police – were killed in a helicopter crash about 11 kilometres from the rally.

It’s unknown if the two incidents are related, but police have arrested and charged James Fields, a 20-year-old man from Ohio, in connection with the car ramming.

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Rescue workers assist people injured when a car rammed through the crowds. Image: Reuters

“He has been charged with second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and failing to stop at an accident that resulted in a death,” Col Martin Kumer, the superintendent of Albermarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail told The Guardian.

The rally was dubbed ‘Unite the Right’, a gathering of white supremacists, nationalists and other supporters of the so called ‘alt-right’, and was expected to bring in around 6000 people before it was declared an unlawful assembly.

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The 'Unite the Right' rally was declared an unlawful assembly by Virginian authorities. Image: Reuters

Virginia Governer Terry McAuliffe had already declared a ‘State of Emergency’ in response to the event, and riot troops had cleared people from the initial rally, before crowds of about 500 far-right protesters and at least 1000 counter-protesters re-gathered and were rammed by the car.

President Donald Trump has since condemned the violence, saying that the incident was an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

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President Trump has since condemned the violence.