By ROB GILLIES and TRACEY LINDEMAN, Associated Press

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada's public safety minister says U.S. officials should stay out of the country's domestic affairs.

He joined other Canadian leaders Monday in pushing back against prominent Republicans who offered support for the protests of COVID-19 restrictions that have besieged downtown Ottawa for more than a week.

A day after the city declared a state of emergency, the mayor pleaded for almost 2,000 extra police officers to help quell the raucous nightly demonstrations staged by the so-called Freedom Truck Convoy.

The group has used hundreds of parked trucks to paralyze the Canadian capital's business district.

The protests have also infuriated people who live around downtown.

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