A protest of a four-state, $3.8 billion oil pipeline turned violent after tribal officials say construction crews destroyed American Indian burial and cultural sites on private land in southern North Dakota. Four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured after several hundred protesters confronted construction crews Saturday afternoon at the site just outside the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, say police. One of the security officers was taken to a Bismarck hospital for undisclosed injuries. Tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear said protesters reported that six people had been bitten by security dogs, including a young child. At least 30 people were pepper-sprayed, he said. Law enforcement authorities had no reports of protesters being injured.
The incident occurred within half a mile of an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River nearby. The tribe is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to grant permits for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access pipeline, which crosses the Dakotas and Iowa to Illinois, including near the reservation in southern North Dakota. A federal judge will rule before Sept. 9 whether construction can be halted on the Dakota Access pipeline. (Read more North Dakota stories.)