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US Congress approves Biden victory hours after Trump mob breaches Capitol

Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. AFP - ALEX EDELMAN

Lawmakers in the US Congress on Thursday finally confirmed Joe Biden's November presidential election win – following dramatic scenes of unrest in Washington DC in which four people were killed.

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Formal validation of Biden's victory comes after Pennsylvania and Arizona both overwhelmingly rejected an attempt by Republicans to overturn the result of the polls.

Washington DC has been put under a citywide 6am-6pm curfew, with riot police guarding the streets after angry supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building as it was in session on Wednesday, scaling the walls and breaking windows.

One woman was shot dead by police during the onslaught, which began as a smaller gathering on the building’s east side before the crowd swelled in size large enough to breach the police perimeter.

Police authorities said three others died in “medical emergencies”.

Lawmakers were evacuated as the violence played out in scenes described by The Washington Post as “like no other in modern American history”.

Those inside the building were told to keep away from doors and windows, as more than a thousand members of the National Guard were activated. Dozens of people were arrested.

Trump 'at fault'

While Trump eventually posted a video message asking his supporters to go home, the outgoing President also repeated false claims the election was stolen. His Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts have since been locked.

Local media say Trump fuelled the violence by urging his supporters to gather at the Capitol to support lawmakers wanting to challenge Biden’s victory. He also encouraged Vice President Mike Pence to intervene in the results.

On Thursday the Democrats took control of the Senate after winning two seats in a runoff vote in the southern state of Georgia.

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