Charlottesville

Trump condemns 'egregious' Virginia violence 'on many sides'

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press about protests in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press about protests in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Photo: AFP

(AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Saturday condemned hatred and violence "on many sides" as clashes between white nationalist demonstrators and anti-racist counter-protestors left one dead in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," Trump said from Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on a working vacation.

In his call for unity the Republican president stopped short of denouncing the white supremacist groups that had descended on the normally peaceful university city for a far-right rally that erupted in violence.

"The hate and the division must stop right now," Trump said. "We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation."

His comments echoed an earlier Tweet that "ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for."

The violent skirmishes between members of the far-right -- including Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi sympathizers -- and counter-demonstrators saw one person killed after a car rammed into a crowd.

According to multiple witnesses, the victims of the car ramming were counter-protestors denouncing the so-called "alt-right."

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe had earlier declared a state of emergency.

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