In pics-Tear gas, explosives and gunfire: Trump supporters storm Capitol, clash with police

Donald Trump's supporters stormed a session of Congress held Wednesday to certify Joe Biden's election win, triggering unprecedented chaos and violence at the heart of American democracy and accusations the president was attempting a coup.

Let's take a look:

Flag-waving mob

Moments after an extraordinary rally by Trump seeking to overturn the election, a flag-waving mob broke down barricades outside the Capitol and swarmed inside, rampaging through offices and onto the usually solemn legislative floors.

(Photograph:AFP)

Chaos as police, Trump supporters face off

Police evacuated lawmakers and struggled for more than three hours to clear the Capitol of Trump supporters, who surged through the halls and rummaged through offices in shocking scenes of chaos and mayhem.

Authorities said they succeeded in clearing out the Capitol of rioters after around four hours but hundreds of Trump supporters remained outside, defying a 6.00 pm (2300 GMT) curfew imposed across the city by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

(Photograph:AFP)

Four-hour operation

Security forces fired tear gas in a four-hour operation to clear the Capitol and police said at least one person was shot and killed, reportedly a female Trump partisan from California.

(Photograph:AFP)

Propping a leg up on House Speaker's desk

One Trump backer in jeans and a baseball cap was pictured propping a leg up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk, where a threatening note had been left, as throngs of others climbed onto risers set up for Biden's inauguration on January 20, holding a banner that read: "We the people will bring DC to its knees/We have the power."

(Photograph:AFP)

Building secure

With drawn guns and tear gas, police evacuated lawmakers and sought to clear the Capitol Building of the Trump supporters, who surged through the halls of Congress in shocking scenes broadcast across the globe.

Police declared the Capitol building secure shortly after 5:30 p.m. (2230 GMT), and lawmakers reconvened shortly after 8 p.m. (0100 GMT on Thursday) to resume the election certification.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Inciting a coup

The chaos at the Capitol came a day after Biden enjoyed a new triumph, with his Democratic Party projected to win two Senate runoff seats, handing them full control of Congress. 

Historians said it was the first time that the Capitol had been taken over since 1814 when the British burned it during the War of 1812.

For more than two centuries, the joint session of Congress has been a quiet, ceremonial event that formally certifies the election winner -- but Trump urged members of his Republican Party to reject the outcome.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Lawmakers resumed business

Vowing not to be deterred, lawmakers resumed business after dark and the Senate soundly rejected the first of several expected challenges to Biden's win, with several Trump loyalists reversing course in the wake of the violence that drew condemnation around the world.

(Photograph:AFP)

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