US Congress resumes vote counting after siege

US lawmakers have resumed the process to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory at the ballot box, hours after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building in Washington.

The mob charged past police barricades and flooded onto the balcony. They later smashed their way into the Senate chambers, the House of Representatives, and the offices of some lawmakers.

Police say four people died on the Capitol grounds and several officers were injured.

Lawmakers were evacuated but riot police and National Guard troops were eventually able to secure the building and push back the crowd outside.

The mayor of Washington has ordered a citywide curfew overnight.

Vice President Mike Pence said, "Violence never wins. Freedom wins, and this is still the people's house. As we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "To those who engaged in the gleeful desecration of this...our temple of democracy, American democracy, justice will be done... let us pray that this instigation to violence will provide an epiphany for our country to heal."

Now lawmakers are back to business. A joint session of Congress is counting the votes of 538 electors to finalize the results of the November election.

Biden called the unrest a sign the country's democracy is facing "an unprecedented assault."

Trump has been roundly castigated for inflaming the riot.
Hours after the chaos began, the president released a video on Twitter asking the crowd to go home.

But he stopped short of criticizing the siege, and repeated his baseless claims of mass voter fraud.

Twitter has now locked Trump's account for 12 hours, and Facebook and YouTube have removed his video message.