WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th January, 2021) Members of the US National Guard are controlling traffic and checking vehicles in Washington DC, where numerous checkpoints have been set up amid fears of massive protests ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden, a Sputnik correspondent reports.
Despite the National Guard presence, the situation around the US Capitol building remains calm, as of Saturday afternoon. One National Guard member told Sputnik that local residents were demonstrating a positive attitude, with some even offering food to the servicemen. According to the National Guard member, the soldiers were not expecting any unrest on Inauguration Day (January 20).
The National Guard member declined to tell Sputnik whether the servicemen were authorized to shoot to kill in case of massive riots during Biden's inauguration.
On Saturday, CNN reported that US Capitol Police had arrested a Virginian man armed with a pistol in downtown Washington. The man reportedly stopped his pick-up truck near a police vehicle checkpoint north of the Capitol building. When asked, he mentioned having a Glock semi-automatic pistol and police confiscated the weapon, 509 rounds, as well as shotgun shells and a handgun magazine.
A Sputnik correspondent reported on Saturday that several US transport companies, including Greyhound and Megabus, have suspended their routes to Washington for the period of January 17-20 due to security concerns.
On January 6, a group of US President Donald Trump's loyalists stormed the US Capitol building. Washington has beefed up security to prevent similar incidents from happening during the upcoming inauguration.