The ongoing protest of the Dakota Access pipeline intensified Saturday after protestors in southern North Dakota claimed they saw construction crews removing topsoil on sacred lands, destroying burial and cultural sites.
Hundreds of protestors confronted construction crews on private property and “attacked” the workers, according to a spokesperson for the pipeline developers Energy Transfer Partners.
Seeyouma Nashcid, a protestor from Arizona, told AFP that the workers tried to push the protestors back with their trucks and bulldozers.
A spokesperson for the Morton County Sheriff’s Office said four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured after being struck with fence posts and flag poles.
A tribe spokesperson said protestors reported six people who were bitten by the dogs and at least 30 people pepper-sprayed.
The violent protest came a day after the tribe filed court papers reporting findings of significant cultural and historic sites along the pipeline route.
A sheriff for Morton County Kyle Kirchmeier said officials were not on scene when the confrontation began but that the crowd dispersed after officers arrived.
A federal judge is expected to make a decision by September 9 about whether to grant a temporary injunction to stop pipeline construction under the Missouri River, a lawsuit tribal members filed as their pursuit to allegedly save their drinking water supply and sacred lands.