06/11/2006

Canadian protesters hijack U.S. Border Patrol car and attempt to run over officer

The Associated Press

CALEDONIA, Ontario- A mob of Canadian Indian protesters hijacked a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle over the weekend and tried to run down a Canadian police officer, police said Saturday.

The hijacking Friday night was near the site of a 3-month standoff between Mohawk protesters who claim the land and police under orders to remove them.

The Indians surrounded the U.S. Border Patrol vehicle and dragged out its three occupants. They then drove the vehicle toward a Canadian police officer, but he was pulled out of the way and suffered minor injuries, Ontario Provincial Police Constable Doug Graham said.

Police issued arrest warrants for seven protesters on a battery of charges, including attempted murder. The stolen vehicle was recovered.

U.S. Border Patrol officers were in Caledonia to observe how provincial police were handling the standoff 70 miles west of Toronto.

The protesters say the site was part of a large land grant dating to 1784, but the provincial and federal governments say the land was surrendered in 1841 for construction of a highway.

A judge granted an injunction in March to remove the occupiers. Police tried but failed to remove them in April.

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