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WATCH: Portland Rioters Light Courthouse on Fire w/ Officers Barricaded Inside

'This peaceful protest is officially a riot...'

Rioters in Portland barricaded Department of Homeland Security officers inside a federal courthouse and attempted to light the building on fire, according to officials.

Portland city officials and Democratic lawmakers have insisted that the protests happening in Portland are peaceful and that there is no need for federal law enforcement.

But a senior DHS official said on Thursday that the rioters continue to get more and more aggressive, and that they would have already burnt down the courthouse were it not for DHS officers at the scene.

“Last night’s violence was even more aggressive than previous nights as rioters once again tried to set fire to the federal courthouse and actively tried to breach the entrance of the courthouse,” the official said in an emailed statement, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Rioters are also employing tactics that force federal officers to leave the Hatfield Federal Courthouse, setting them up to be attacked with lasers and projectiles,” the official said.

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More than 1,000 rioters gathered outside of the Hatfield Federal Courthouse on Thursday night.

Many attempted to block the entrances to the courthouse in order to force DHS forces from leaving the building.

The officers that tried to escape were beamed in the eyes with lasers, which could cause permanent eye damage, according to officials.

Rioters also set up barricades outside of the courthouse entrances to trap the rest of the DHS officers inside, while others tried to break through the fencing and windows to set fires within the building.

DHS officials on scene said a shopping cart full of bricks and baseball bats was left outside of the building for protesters to use against law enforcement.

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At least five protesters were arrested on Thursday night, according to DHS officials, and one DHS Federal Protective Service officer was injured after being struck by fireworks.

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