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Trump, Sanders Spar Over Rally Violence


Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, face off with protesters after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns Friday, March 11, 2016, in Chicago.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, face off with protesters after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns Friday, March 11, 2016, in Chicago.

U.S. presidential candidates disagree about who is responsible for violence at recent political rallies.

Republican candidate Donald Trump said he is not responsible for violence at his rallies. But in recent weeks, fighting and conflict has erupted in rallies in Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Illinois. In Chicago, a Trump rally was cancelled.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the downtown Midland Theater in Kansas City, Mo., March 12, 2016.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the downtown Midland Theater in Kansas City, Mo., March 12, 2016.

Trump blamed Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders for the fighting. Sanders said his supporters had disrupted Trump events. But he denied ordering his campaign followers to disrupt Trump events.

“We want peace. … We don’t want trouble,” Trump said at an Illinois rally Sunday. Trump then said he may send his supporters to Sanders rallies.

Police attempt to remove protesters as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Friday, March 11, 2016, in St. Louis

Police attempt to remove protesters as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Friday, March 11, 2016, in St. Louis

Sanders responded with a statement on his website, "What caused the protest at Trump's rally is a candidate that has promoted hatred and division against Latinos, Muslims, women and people with disabilities."

Violence has increased at these political events. In Ohio on Saturday, a protester rushed the stage while Trump was speaking. Secret Service agents stopped the man.

In North Carolina, a Trump supporter assaulted a protester as security guards escorted the protester out of the event.

The Trump protester was charged with assault.

Primary elections will happen in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio on Tuesday.

I’m Dorothy Gundy.

VOANews.com reported on this story. Jim Dresbach adapted the report for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a quote to Sen. Bernie Sanders. The story has been updated with the correct statement from Sanders.

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Words in This Story

rallyn. a public meeting to support or oppose someone or something

disruptedv. to interrupt the normal progress or activity of something

escortedv. going with someone or something to give protection or guidance

assaultn. the crime of trying or threatening to hurt someone physically

primary electionsn. an election in which members of the same political party run against each other for the chance to be in a larger and more important election

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