Nearly 100 arrested as protesters, police clash after Trump’s swearing-in ceremony

WASHINGTON -- A total of 95 people were arrested as American protesters clashed with riot police in Washington Friday afternoon after Donald Trump was sworn in as the new US President.

Washington DC police said that 95 people were arrested as of 2 p.m. local time after they smashed windows, damaged cars and threw rocks at police in a new wave of violence that erupted near the White House, right after the end of the swearing-in ceremony held at the Capitol Hill.

Police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the protesters who hurled objects, including bottles and rocks, at them near the 12th and K streets, only blocks away from the White House.

The police said in a statement that some protesters acted in a concerted effort and engaged in acts of vandalism and several instances of destruction of property.

Two police officers were sent to hospital after they were injured during the clash. But their injuries were not life-threatening.

Earlier, protesters smashed windows of stores and cars in Washington on Friday just before Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th US President.

One hour ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, about 500 anti-Trump protesters, many of whom were black-clad, marched through streets near the White House in downtown Washington, holding banners such as "No Hate, No Place" and "Make Racists Afraid Again".

Police in riot gear used stun grenades and pepper spray to disperse the protesters after they smashed windows of a local Bank of America branch, a Starbucks store, a McDonald restaurant and some cars by throwing stones, media reports said.

Earlier in the morning, many protesters tried to block several entrances into the Inaugural Parade route on the Pennsylvania Ave., as many Trump supporters waited to check in.

But most of the protests across the capital city, organized by anti-Trump groups including the Disrupt J20, the ANSWER Coalition and Black Lives Matter, were peaceful amid heavy security.

Massive security was imposed in downtown Washington Friday as many streets around the White House and Capitol Hill were blocked, creating a heavily fortified security zone.

As many as 28,000 security officials, including some 7,800 National Guard troops, were deployed to guard the checkpoints and the Parade Route.

Trump's swearing-in ceremony was attended by about 900,000 people, a much smaller crowd than expected.

Trump, an outspoken New York billionaire and former TV entertainment celebrity, stunned the world by winning the presidential election in November, defeating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Trump, an outsider who has no political experience, won strong support from many white working-class voters, by vowing to shake up a political system that many Americans blame for failing them.

But the brash billionaire has widely been criticized for making divisive and controversial remarks during his campaign.

Trump is the least popular US President-elect in modern history, with only 40 percent favorable ratings among Americans, according to a recent ABC/The Washington Post poll. (PNA/Xinhua)

Source: Philippines information agency

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