Quebec police deny Mohawks chased them out of Kanesatake
Police car damaged, barricades set up near Oka, Que.
Quebec provincial police are denying they were chased out of Kanesatake Mohawk territory after their cruiser was rammed by a truck just after midnight Friday.
There were reports that two police cars were damaged, and that the police were chased and run off the road at Oka, Que., scene of a major standoff between Mohawks and police supported by Canadian Forces in 1990.
But Sûreté du Québec spokesman Michel Brunet denies they were chased out of the territory.
"Some things like this happen every week somewhere else in Quebec. I mean, we are hit by some cars sometimes, by trucks sometimes. It's not the first time, and I know this will happen again," Brunet said.
He said the confrontation might have been sparked when police arrested three young Mohawk men earlier Friday. But, he said, relations between police and local residents are good.
Following the confrontation, more than a dozen Mohawks barricaded Highway 344 near Oka.
They dragged trees onto the highway and barricaded at least two other entrances to Kanesatake.
Police spokesman Gregory Gomez del Prado said protesters also set fire to a tree trunk on the road.
The barricades were removed at about 4 a.m. Saturday after members of the recently elected band council stepped in to negotiate.
The Kanesatake band council called a meeting Monday to deal with the fallout from the confrontation. But, so far, the band has made no comments about the incident.
Two weeks ago, the band elected Paul Nicholas as its new grand chief, and elected a new council, which includes a record number of women.