Ammon Bundy, the leader of the armed protesters who occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, was arrested along with four others on Tuesday in a standoff, the FBI said. One person was reportedly killed and another injured in clash with security personnel.
Oregon law enforcement authorities did not reveal the identity of the deceased, but the injured has been identified as Ammon's 43-year-old brother Ryan Bundy. He has suffered minor injuries, Reuters reported. The clash occurred when the FBI and Oregon State Police stopped Bundy and his men, who were headed to John Day for a community meeting, along Highway 395.
"I am pleased that the FBI has listened to the concerns of the local community and responded to the illegal activity occurring in Harney County by outside extremists. The leaders of this group are now in custody and I hope that the remaining individuals occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will peacefully surrender so this community can begin to heal the deep wounds that this illegal activity has created over the last month," Oregon Public Broadcasting quoted Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley as saying in a statement.
The authorities had reportedly blocked about 40 kms of Highway 395 to investigate the confrontration, as it was unclear as to who started the shooting.
Besides Ammon and Ryan, the FBI and state police arrested three other occupiers of wildlife refuge -- Bryan Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan Waylen Payne -- following a shoot-out along Highway 395 between Burns and John Day.
Peter Santilli, 50, was the fifth person to be arrested from Burns, Orgeon. All the arrested armed protesters face felony charges, OPB reported.
The protesters led by Ammon occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on 2 January to protest against the imprisonment of ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond, CNN reported.
The Hammonds, father-son duo, were arrested and awarded a five-year jail term for setting 130 acres of land on fire in 2001 in Harney County. The fire that the Hammonds set to their land had spread to the federal land, according to reports.
Though Bundy and his supporters protested against Hammonds' arrest, the duo refused any help from them.
"Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organisation speak for the Hammond family," CNN quoted Hammonds' attorney W Alan Schroeder as saying to Harney County Sheriff David Ward.