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State Department Expresses Concern Over Clashes Between Turkish Security and Protesters

(AP) -- The Turkish government and Washington's mayor are trading blame for violence outside the country's embassy, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security staff moved in to break up an antigovernment protest.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency labeled the protesters Kurdish "supporters of terror." It said they chanted anti-Erdogan slogans as the president entered the embassy on Tuesday after meeting with President Trump. Erdogan's security team moved in to disperse the protesters because "police did not heed to Turkish demands to intervene," according to the news agency.

In a statement Wednesday, the State Department expressed concern over the violence: "We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms."

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that the "violent attack on a peaceful demonstration" is an affront to "our rights as Americans.

Emergency officials say nine people were injured. Police say two men are facing charges and they intend to pursue charges against others involved.

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