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Bridge linking northern NY with Ontario closes

THE Seaway International Bridge, a temporary border crossing that connects New York state with Canada's Cornwall Island and Cornwall city, was shut down yesterday.

The bridge was closed after tensions rose in a long-standing dispute between the Canada Border Services Agency and an Aboriginal community that lives on Cornwall Island. The Mohawks have objected to giving the border guards handguns.

It remains unclear if the Canadian Border Services Agency, US border officials, or the Mohawk community initiated the closing.

This comes a day after the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne accused the Canadian border agents of seizing vehicles and fining residents who failed to report to customs after coming to the island from the US

Akwesasne spokesman Brendan White says "to do so would have required our community members to travel out of the way before going home."

Since the checkpoint in Cornwall opened in mid-July, Akwesasne residents have had to check in at Canada Customs when coming from New York State on to Cornwall Island and Cornwall, an industrial port city of 45,000 people on Canada's mainland.


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