World leaders have expressed shock at the violent protests at the US Congress and attempts to overturn the November 3 presidential election results which dealt a victory to Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Police in the US Capitol responded with drawn guns and tear gas as protesters stormed in and sought to force Congress to undo President Donald Trump's election loss shortly after some of Trump's fellow Republicans launched a last-ditch effort to throw out the results.
Here are reactions from around the world:
Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a tweet described the scenes in the US Congress as a "disgrace", saying the United States stood for democracy around the world and that was it was "vital" there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
China drew a comparison between the storming of the US Capitol and last year's often-violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, but noted that no one had died when demonstrators took over the legislature of the China-ruled city. Four people died in the Washington violence, police said.
"We also wish that US people can enjoy peace, stability and security as soon as possible," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
"What happened in America showed what a failure Western democracy is ... A populist man (Trump) damaged the reputation of his country," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said democracy's enemies would be cheered by scenes of violence at the United States Capitol.
"Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy," he tweeted.
"What happened today in Washington DC is not American, definitely," President Emmanuel Macron said in a video message on Twitter.
"We believe in the strength of our democracies. We believe in the strength of American democracy," he said.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet: "The new Presidency of @JoeBiden will overcome this time of tension, uniting the American people."
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: "Peaceful transition of power is at the core. @JoeBiden won the election. I look forward to working with him as the next President of the USA."
"Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
"Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests."
"We hope to see democracy in the United States overcome this difficult situation, calmness and harmony regained, and a peaceful and democratic transfer of power," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said.
"Quite Maidan-style pictures are coming from DC," Russia's deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter, referring to protests in Ukraine that toppled Russian-backed President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.
"Some of my friends ask whether someone will distribute crackers to the protesters to echo Victoria Nuland stunt," he said, citing a 2013 visit to Ukraine when then-US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland offered food to protesters.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed concern about the violent scenes in Washington. "The American democratic institutions are strong, and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly," Trudeau told the News 1130 Vancouver radio station.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a tweet described the incidents as "an attack on democracy". "President Trump and many members of Congress bear significant responsibility for what's now taking place.
"The democratic process of electing a president must be respected."
Australian Associated Press
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