CANNON BALL, N.D. -

Authorities say the use of water spray in below-freezing temperatures against Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters was necessary, and they won't rule out doing it again.
    
Authorities used the tactic during a skirmish with protesters overnight in southern North Dakota. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says authorities used fire hoses to repel aggressive protesters who were throwing objects including rocks, asphalt and water bottles at officers. One officer was hit in the head.
    
The human rights organization Amnesty International and other groups have denounced officers' use of water when temperatures were in the 20s. Dallas Goldtooth with the Indigenous Environmental Network says at least 17 protesters were taken to hospitals, some with hypothermia.
    
Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler says authorities won't rule out using water again if it's deemed necessary.

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North Dakota's state Capitol building is on a "soft lockdown" due to the protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, with the doors locked but members of the public being granted access if they have legitimate business.
    
The Highway Patrol provides security for the Capitol. Lt. Tom Iverson says the soft lockdown was put in place Monday due to protesters being in the Bismarck area. They've previously demonstrated at the Capitol.
    
Iverson says state workers can get into the Capitol with their security key cards. He says members of the public who have legitimate business are being granted access by officers staffing the entrances.
    
A small group of protesters briefly blocked traffic in downtown Bismarck on Monday morning.
    
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12:50 p.m.
    
Most Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters have backed away from another potential confrontation with law officers, with only about a dozen protesters remaining on a disputed bridge in southern North Dakota.
    
The bridge on state Highway 1806 has been shut down for weeks because authorities say it might be unsafe due to earlier fires set by protesters. Protesters say the closed bridge blocks emergency services and also blocks their access to pipeline construction sites.
    
The two sides clashed overnight, with protesters saying officers used tear gas, rubber bullets and water sprays and authorities saying protesters assaulted officers with rocks and burning logs.
    
Protesters and police began massing at the bridge again midday Monday, but about 200 protesters backed away after reports of firearms in the crowd.
    
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12:05 p.m.
    
Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters and law officers are facing off again at a shut-down bridge on a state highway near the protesters' camp in southern North Dakota.
    
The two sides clashed overnight, with protesters saying officers used tear gas, rubber bullets and water sprays and authorities saying protesters assaulted officers with rocks and burning logs.
    
Officers and protesters began massing on opposite sides of the bridge again mid-Monday. Law officers told the crowd they had identified firearms among the protesters and said people who were armed should leave. They also said protesters who went onto the bridge could be arrested.
    
Many protesters held up their hands and told the officers they had come in peace. Native Hawaiian Daniel Kanahele blew a conch shell to summon native spirits.

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The Army Corps of Engineers and the company developing the Dakota Access pipeline are arguing in court over whether the Corps granted a critical easement for the project.
    
Energy Transfer Partners says in a filing Sunday that the Corps granted an easement in July for its pipeline to go under Lake Oahe in southern North Dakota. The company says the Corps said several times that approval was complete and the easement signed.
    
The company has asked a federal judge to allow it to move ahead over the federal government's opposition.
    
The Corps disagrees in its own filing Friday, saying an easement decision hasn't been made.
    
The Standing Rock Sioux and other groups have demonstrated against the four-state, thousand-mile pipeline for months.

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Authorities are defending their use of water hoses against Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters during a skirmish in below-freezing weather.
    
Morton County Sheriff's spokesman Rob Keller says the water hoses were used to put out fires set by protesters and to keep protesters away from law officers during a violent clash that was "rapidly unfolding."
    
The conflict between protesters and officers happened late Sunday and early Monday on a long-blocked bridge on state Highway 1806, near a camp where demonstrators have gathered for months.
    
Dallas Goldtooth with the Indigenous Environmental Network says at least 17 people were taken to hospitals, some with hypothermia.
    
Authorities say protesters assaulted officers with rocks and burning logs, and one officer was injured. One protester was arrested.

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Law enforcement and protesters are in a new confrontation on the site of the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.

The Morton County Sheriff's Office estimated 400 protesters were on a bridge trying to go north on state Highway 1806 late Sunday evening. Law enforcement had formed a line to prevent their movement.

At least one person had been arrested.

Protesters' live video streamed from the scene appeared to show water cannon being used.

The bridge was closed after it was damaged by fire in October, shortly after law enforcement moved in to evict protesters from private property owned by the pipeline developer.