Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew Wednesday after angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.
Bowser set a 6:00 pm (2300 GMT) curfew after thousands of protesters descended on the US Congress, forced lawmakers to go into recess as they began the process of confirming Joe Biden as the next US president.
The curfew is to remain in place until 6:00 am Thursday.
Hours after an extraordinary rally by Trump challenging his defeat, his flag-waving backers broke down barricades outside the Capitol and swarmed inside, with the special session going into an emergency recess as protesters entered the chambers.
The chaos at the Capitol, which was put under lockdown, came one day after Biden enjoyed a new triumph as his Democratic Party looked set to win two Senate runoff seats, handing full control of Congress.
Police fired tear gas as they struggled to remove a sea of protesters who took aim, at Trump’s urging, at what for more than two centuries had been a quiet, ceremonial session to confirm the election’s winner.
“The President of the United States is inciting a coup. We will not be intimidated. We will not be deterred,” tweeted Democratic Representative Karen Bass.
Representative Val Demings likewise denounced the storming of the Capitol as evidence of “a coup in progress” — in words echoed by half a dozen lawmakers.
Representative Elaine Luria said she had to evacuate because of a report of a pipe bomb and said she believed she heard gunshots.
“I don’t recognize our country today and the members of Congress who have supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans,” she said.