National Guard troops expect to leave U.S. Capitol next week- officials

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U.S. Capitol Police and National Guard soldiers operate a checkpoint at the U.S. Capitol, in advance of U.S. President Joe Biden's first speech to a joint session of Congress in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) - The Pentagon does not expect another request to extend National Guard troops in Washington who are helping to protect the U.S. Capitol, two officials said on Wednesday, with the current mission for the roughly 2,000 personnel expiring on Sunday.

Since the Jan. 6 attack on the seat of the U.S. Congress by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, National Guard troops have been dispatched to the grounds and some fencing had been erected to extend the security perimeter.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said no extension request had been received and it was unlikely to be made.

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At its height, there were about 5,200 National Guard troops protecting the Capitol and the mission had already once been extended from March to May 23.

Federal prosecutors have charged more than 300 people for involvement in the attack that led to five deaths, including a police officer. Those arrested include members of armed militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.

Last month, a motorist rammed a car into U.S. Capitol police, killing one officer and injuring another and forcing the Capitol complex to lock down.

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Reporting by Idrees Ali; editing by Grant McCool

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