Two armed men arrested near Philadelphia voting centre

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Two men armed with handguns have been arrested near the Philadelphia convention centre where an ongoing vote count could decide the presidential election.

Tip off

The men, aged 42 and 61, travelled to the city from the Virginia Beach area in a Hummer and did not have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania, police said. They were arrested after the FBI in Virginia relayed a tip about their plans to Philadelphia police.

Officers stopped the men on the street about a block away from the vehicle, Philadelphia police commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
The Hummer vehicle was parked near the Pennsylvania Convention Centre (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

The 61-year-old man had a 9mm Beretta in a holster and the 42-year-old man had a .40-caliber Beretta handgun inside his jacket, Outlaw said. An AR-style rifle without a serial number and ammunition were found inside the vehicle. A woman with the men was not arrested, Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner said.

Caution

The arrests drew attention amid heightened tensions over the undecided presidential race but officials cautioned against reading too much into them. There was no indications that anyone else was involved or that the men are members of an extremist group.

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A silver Hummer with Virginia licence plates was parked on Friday at the location where police say they found the men. It was adorned with an American flag and a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon.

The men will be charged with firearms offenses.

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