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200 Illinois guard troops will go to DC to aid inauguration

January 13, 2021 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker is sending about 200 members of the Illinois National to Washington, D.C., to help with security at next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Pritzker announced Tuesday that the guard members would travel to Washington in advance of Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, which a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed last week to try to overturn the results of the presidential election.

“In the wake of the recent incident at the Capitol, ensuring a peaceful transfer of power to the Biden administration is of the utmost importance,” Pritzker said in a statement.

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Five people were killed when the mob of Trump loyalists attacked police and vandalized the Capitol building on Jan. 6 during a rampage through the halls of Congress that sent lawmakers of both parties and Vice President Mike Pence into hiding.

Maj. Gen. Richard Neely, commander of the Illinois National Guard, said in a statement that “supporting the presidential inauguration is a great opportunity for the Illinois National Guard to be part of history and represent the state of Illinois.”

Pritzker has also increased security about the Illinois Statehouse in Springfield following the FBI’s warning that state capitol buildings and Washington could be targeted around Biden’s swearing in.