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One killed amid violence over US far-right rally

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violence-333One person has been killed amid violent clashes between white nationalists attending a far-right march and protesters in the US state of Virginia.

 

The mayor of Charlottesville said he was "heartbroken" at the loss.

 

It is not clear if the death came when `a car rammed a crowd of opponents of the far-right rally, injuring several.

 

The "Unite the Right" march was called to protest against plans to remove a statue of a Civil War general. A state of emergency has been declared.

 

President Donald Trump condemned "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides".

 

"The hate and the division must stop right now," he told reporters, speaking in New Jersey, where he is on a working holiday. "We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation.”

 

Video posted on social media showed a car ploughing at speed into several slow-moving vehicles, which were surrounded by a densely packed crowd. Emergency services were pictured treating a number of people who were injured.

 

Some reports suggest there are as many as 10 people wounded.

 

A witness said one girl got "tore up" after the car "backed up and hit again”.

 

Earlier, police fired tear gas against demonstrators and said that arrests had been made after a declaration of unlawful assembly at Emancipation Park.

 

The state of emergency allows local authorities to request additional resources if needed, the police department said.

 

The far-right protesters, some waving Confederate flags, carrying shields and wearing helmets, are angry about the planned removal of a statue of Gen Robert E Lee from Charlottesville. Gen Lee commanded the pro-slavery Confederate forces in the US Civil War of 1861-65.

 

The New York Times reports that some of them were chanting "You will not replace us," and "Jew will not replace us."

 

Anti-racism organisations such as Black Lives Matter have also held marches.

 

Shiquan Rah, a 21-year-old demonstrator who had joined the counter-protest, said about the far-right groups: "These people don't have a message, their message is hate and violence. This is a spiritual war we're in.

 

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe urged calm tweeting: "The acts and rhetoric in #Charlottesville over past 24 hours are unacceptable [and] must stop. A right to speech is not a right to violence.”

 

On Friday, the white nationalists held lit torches - which some observers described as a reference to the Ku Klux Klan - and chanted "White lives matter" as they marched through the University of Virginia in the city.

 

Charlottesville is considered a liberal college town - and 86% of the county voted for Hillary Clinton in last year's presidential elections.

 

However, the town has become a focal point for white nationalists after the city council voted to remove a statue of Gen Lee.

 

Some observers also argue that Mr Trump's election to the White House re-energised the far right across the US.



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