Standing Rock protester seriously injured, may lose arm

The Morton County Sheriff's Office has said authorities didn't use any concussion grenades (Reuters)
The Morton County Sheriff's Office has said authorities didn't use any concussion grenades (Reuters)

A woman protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline may lose her arm after she was seriously injured during demonstrations.

Wayne Wilansky says his 21-year-old daughter Sophia Wilansky is having a second surgery on her arm at a Minneapolis hospital.

He says his daughter told him she saw a law enforcement officer throw an object at her that exploded.

"She's going to have to undergo many surgeries - the doctor just said she may need as many as 20 surgeries over many months if they have any hope of saving her arm and her hand, and obviously we'll be here with her every step of the way."

Ms Wilansky was injured during a clash late Sunday (local time) near the camp along the pipeline route in southern North Dakota, where protesters have been gathered for months.

The Morton County Sheriff's Office has said authorities didn't use any concussion grenades and suggested an explosion heard during the skirmish might have been caused by small propane tanks that authorities said protesters had rigged to explode.

Mr Wilansky doesn't believe that.

"It's unbelievable that governments are violently attacking citizens who are there peacefully in an attempt not to control the protest, not to save property but to intentionally damage people, to hurt people on purpose so that other people won't come," he told media.

He says his daughter has told him not to make the story about her.

"She said, 'Please go out there and say it's not about me - it's about the indigenous peoples. It's about them.' And even though she's lying there with her arm pretty much blown off, she's focused on the fact that it's not about her. It's about what we're doing to our country and what we're doing to the native peoples and what we're doing to our environment."

APTN / Newshub.