19:40 GMT13 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has approved a request to extend the presence of National Guard troops at the Capitol grounds for an additional two months, according to the Pentagon press secretary, John Kirby.

    "Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has approved a request by the US Capitol Police for continued National Guard support through May 23, 2021," Kirby said on Tuesday.

    Kirby said nearly 2,300 National Guard troops will continue their deployment in the nation's capital, a 50 percent reduction of the current presence.

    During this extended deployment, US defense officials will work with Capitol police to incrementally reduce the National Guard presence, if conditions allow, Kirby said.

    The US Capitol Police last week asked the Defense Department to extend the deployment of National Guard troops in Washington DC due to potential threats from US domestic terror groups attacking lawmakers at the Capitol.

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    US Capitol, National Guard, US
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