Joy Braun is busy helping to make arrangements at the new camp being set up on the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline, in Cannon Ball, N.D., Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
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Law enforcement officers and soldiers, some wearing riot gear and many armed, began an operation on Thursday to remove Dakota Access pipeline protesters camped on private land in the path of the pipeline in North Dakota.A months-long dispute over the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline reached a crisis point when some 200 protesters set up camp on land owned by pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners.Law enforcement officials demanded that the protesters leave the private land on Wednesday, but the protesters refused. The Federal Aviation Administration is restricting flights over the Cannon Ball area until Nov. 5, allowing only aircraft affiliated with the North Dakota Tactical Operation Center and banning drones.Some protesters said in advance of the operation that they were resigned to a confrontation.
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