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Five more arrested in pipeline protests

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More people were arrested Tuesday in the course of pipeline protests held near St. Anthony. 

The Morton County Sheriff's Department said law enforcement got reports around noon that Highway 6 was blocked. Five people were arrested for disorderly conduct.

After the protesters left this area, about 300 moved to two Dakota Access Pipeline worksites nearby, according to the sheriff's department. The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations is investigating reports that a pipeline worker was assaulted and other workers were blocked from leaving a worksite and chased by protesters on horseback.

Law enforcement also got a "shots fired" report from a farmer, who said he saw protesters firing toward highway signs and construction pipe.

Mark Tilsen, of South Dakota, who was at the protests, said no shots were fired. He said pipeline workers were gone by the time he arrived. He said most people were praying on the sides of the road.

No additional arrests were made at these worksites, but the sheriff's department said it is reviewing photos and video.

North Dakota Highway Patrol Col. Mike Gerhardt told the Bismarck Tribune editorial board Tuesday that law enforcement had scaled back from 105 to 75 officers in the area this week, but may ramp back up after protests took place Tuesday and Sunday.

Authorities have said a private security guard was carried and thrown over a fence Sunday, which protester organizers also have denied.

In total, 74 people have been arrested during the protests, according to the sheriff's department.

Reach Caroline Grueskin at 701-250-8225 or at caroline.grueskin@bismarcktribune.com

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