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In pictures: Turmoil as pro-Trump protesters break through US Capitol security

Striking scenes of protesters breaking into the US Capitol building have shocked people around the world.

The images of Donald Trump supporters clashing with police, breaking windows and occupying the Senate chamber have drawn criticism from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even the NATO secretary general.

In the final days of the outgoing US president’s administration, they were a powerful reminder of how bitterly divided the country is two months since Joe Biden won the race for the White House.

US Capitol in lockdown: Follow live updates

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A protester who gained entry to the Capitol carried a Conferderate flag through it
Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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Some people were seen climbing the west wall of the the Capitol
Police confront supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
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A police officer confronted supporters of Mr Trump as they demonstrated on the second floor of the Capitol near the entrance to the Senate
People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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A woman in the House gallery put on an ’emergency hood’
People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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People were forced to shelter in the House gallery

The shocking pictures drew an appeal from Mr Biden to his soon-to-be-predecessor to “step up” and call off the protesters.

Mr Trump later urged them to “go home” and “respect our great people in law and order” but repeated claims the election was “stolen” – something that has been refuted multiple times in different US courts.

NBC reported several officials have said at least one improvised explosive device had been found on Capitol grounds.

More from United States

A U.S. Capitol police officer shoots pepper spray at a protestor attempting to enter the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election results on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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A police officer shot pepper spray at a protestor attempting to enter the Capitol
U.S. Capitol Police hold protesters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Some protesters were forced to lie on the ground as armed police started to take control

US Capitol police ordered the evacuation of several buildings, and clashes were reported between police and protesters.
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A video showed some of those outside the building trying to break in by shattering the glass in windows
A security officer gestures after supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump breached security defenses at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
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A security officer appealed to people to leave the Capitol

Earlier, Mr Trump turned on Vice President Mike Pence, accusing him of lacking courage for not intervening to refute the election result.

Their fortunes were also dealt a big blow when the Democrats’ second candidate in the Georgia Senate run-off race was projected to win – meaning Mr Biden will be in control of the Senate.

A supporter of President Donald Trump confronts police as Trump supporters demonstrate on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate after breaching security defenses, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
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A stand-off ensued when supporters of Mr Trump confronted police
U.S. Capitol Police evacuate journalists and House press staff members from the Capitol to a connected office building, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Journalists and House press staff had to be evacuated by the Capitol
Papers and other equipment after the House floor was evacuate as protesters tried to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Papers and open packages of ’emergency escape hoods’ were left strewn on desks in the House
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