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Oregon Occupiers Have No Plans to Leave: Leader
   2016-01-09 19:56:20    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Chu Yiming

 A U.S. flag covers a sign at the entrance of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon on January 3, 2016.[Photo: Xinhua]

An armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge in the US state of Oregon says they have no immediate plans to leave.

Leader of the group Ammon Bundy said on Friday that a local sheriff had met with him.

"He (the sheriff) did yesterday, we met and he said gracefully that he would give us free passage out of the county and free passage out of the state if we would leave. I can only say this to him. We will take that offer but not yet."

The group consists of around two dozen people, some from as far as Arizona and Michigan. They are protesting against federal land policies, and opposing prison sentences for two local ranchers convicted of arson.

Bundy said the group will leave as soon as plans materialize to return federal land to locals.

The group's occupation since January 2nd has drawn local opposition. Barret Kaiser from the advocacy group Centre for Western Priorities expressed his anger.

"What has exactly happened since the Bundy's pulled this stunt last time at their ranch? Absolutely nothing. To add to that, they owe me and you and you and you a million dollars in taxpayer money. No, they shouldn't just go home, they should go to jail. You shouldn't be allowed to exploit a ranching family, hijack an entire community."

Local authorities have not attempted to remove the occupiers.

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