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Five arrested after swarming at pipeline site

Group reportedly fired flares, poured liquid into a work vehicle and stole a chainsaw after the security worker fled the area.

RCMP arrested five people on Wednesday morning, three days after a security employee working the Coastal GasLink pipeline was allegedly swarmed.

In a statement, RCMP said the arrests were made as a search warrant was executed at a camp at the 44.5 kilometre mark of the Morice Forest Service Road and all five face a count of obstructing a peace officer.

"Four refused to cooperate with police direction and one attempted to prevent members from executing the warrant," RCMP said.

The search warrant was simultaneously executed at the Lamprey Provincial Park campground.

The step was taken following a report, received late night Sunday, that a group wearing masks and camouflage had swarmed a security person at the 43-kilometre mark of the Morice West Forest Service Road.

RCMP said the group reportedly fired flares, poured liquid into a work vehicle and stole a chainsaw after the employee fled the area.

"The RCMP fully supports peaceful, safe and lawful protest. Criminal acts by persons under the guise of protesting, particularly the violence exhibited by the suspects in this instance, will not be tolerated. The investigation into this matter is ongoing," RCMP said.

In a statement, project opponents said the warrant had "no clear relation" to the site, which they called the Gidimt’en village site.

They also released a video showing RCMP at the site and claimed harassment in the days prior by the RCMP and employees of a private security firm hired by Coastal GasLink.

Coastal GasLink said no one was injured and that the company "will prioritize the safety of our work crews and the communities around us."

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