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Iraq? Afghanistan? Police gear up against Ferguson protesters (PHOTOS)

Published time: August 14, 2014 20:49

Riot police clear a street with smoke bombs while clashing with demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

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As the violence escalates at the Ferguson protests which have entered their sixth day, RT takes a look at the brutal scenes of heavily militarized security forces using excessive force to disperse crowds rallying against police killing an unarmed 18yo.

READ MORE: Pentagon supplied St. Louis County police with military-grade weapons

The initially peaceful protests were prompted by the police shooting an unarmed teenager on Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri. It is not clear what prompted the shooting nor have the police yet revealed the name of the officer who shot Brown. Spreading rumors and lack of official information have fueled the protests on the streets of the suburb.

Police officers watch as demonstrators protest the death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 12, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

The protests escalated due to excessive force the police used to disperse the protesters. On Wednesday the police announced on a speakerphone at the scene that it was no longer a peaceful protest and urged the people to vacate the location.

Riot police stand guard as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

As many protesters stayed the security forces used teargas canisters and began advancing at the crowd.

Police officers keep watch while demonstrators (not pictured) protest the death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 12, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

The protesters chanted "Hands up, don't shoot" and “we are peaceful” as the police line pushed forward dispersing the crowd. According to witnesses Brown had raised his arms to police to show that he was unarmed before being killed.

Demonstrators stand in the street in Ferguson, Missouri August 11, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

Video footage and photos show dense clouds of gas the security forces used against the protesters on Wednesday night.

READ MORE: ‘No longer peaceful assembly’: Ferguson SWAT fire tear gas, rubber bullets

A protester throws back a smoke bomb while clashing with police in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

The Ferguson demonstrators faced heavily armed forces who at times trained weapons on them from armored trucks.

“A few people have pointed it out, but our ROE regarding who we could point weapons at in Afghanistan was more restrictive than cops in MO,” noted US Marine Logistics Officer Jeff Clement on his Twitter account.

“I don't know how it was in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in Bosnia we had less firepower while on patrol than the cops in Ferguson,” commented Retired Navy Chief Dan Bramos on his Twitter.

A police officer holds his riot gun while demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

AP reported the police offensive was a response to the Molotov cocktails thrown at them.

Many people were detained, including journalists Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post.

READ MORE: Press freedom? Police target media, arrest and teargas reporters at Ferguson protests

The Al Jazeera-America crew was also attacked and tear-gassed by security forces as they tried to film the protest.

Huffington Post reported that according to Reilly, who previously reported from the notorious Guantanamo Bay military facility, “police resembled soldiers more than officers.”

Riot police stop a vehicle as they clear a street of demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014.(Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

On Thursday, President Barack Obama condemned police treatment of journalists covering the protests in Ferguson during a speech in Edgartown, Massachusetts.

Demonstrators march in the street while protesting the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 12, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) criticized the arrest of US journalists while they were covering riots saying it was unacceptable.

“Summarily rounding up journalists while they are doing their jobs sends a dangerous precedent and must never be condoned,” said an OSCE representative for freedom of mass media Dunja Mijatovic on Thursday.

Demonstrators march in the street while protesting the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 12, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)

READ MORE: Highway police take control over all police operations in Ferguson

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon issued a statement Wednesday saying the conflict "does not represent who we are” urging the police to “keep the peace, while safeguarding rights of citizens and the press.”

Demonstrators hold signs as they protest the death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 12, 2014. (Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)