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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

FBI Agent Says Occupiers Could Have Left Peacefully

Law enforcement personnel monitor an intersection of closed Highway 395 in Burns, Oregon on January 26, 2016, during a standoff pitting an anti-government militia against the US authorities. One person died in an armed clash with police as they arrested the leaders of a group laying siege to an American wildlife refuge, the FBI said January 26. (ROB KERR/AFP/Getty Images)

Law enforcement personnel monitor an intersection of closed Highway 395 in Burns, Oregon on January 26, 2016, during a standoff pitting an anti-government militia against the US authorities. One person died in an armed clash with police as they arrested the leaders of a group laying siege to an American wildlife refuge, the FBI said January 26. (ROB KERR/AFP/Getty Images)

Authorities say the armed group occupying the national wildlife preserve in Oregon was given “ample opportunity” to leave peacefully.

Greg Bretzing, the FBI’s Portland special agent in charge, said at a news conference Wednesday that authorities took a deliberate and measured response to those who took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2. He says they’re working to safely remove those who are still occupying the site.

Bretzing says authorities tried to conduct a traffic stop safely and away from local residents Tuesday night, which ended with eight arrests and the death of one man.

He wouldn’t release specifics about the death, saying only that the man died as authorities tried to take him into custody.

Bretzing says the activists “have chosen to threaten and intimidate the America they profess to love.”

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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