BURNS, Ore. (AP) -- A convoy of more than a dozen pickup trucks carrying armed men arrived at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon on Saturday.
Some of the men carrying rifles told journalists they were there to help with security for the group that has occupied the headquarters of the refuge since Jan. 2.
The Oregonian reported the men said they were members of the Pacific Patriot Network, a consortium of groups from Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
They arrived at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge midmorning, carrying rifles and handguns and dressed in military attire and bulletproof vests.
Their leader, Brandon Curtiss, said the group came to "de-escalate" the situation by providing security for those inside and outside the compound.
One of the original occupiers of the refuge, LaVoy Finicum, said the group appreciates the Pacific Patriot Network's help, but "we want the long guns put away."