Dec 16, 3:15 PM EST

Brazilian Indians clash with police outside Congress during protest of land demarcation bill

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AP Photo/Eraldo Peres
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SAO PAULO (AP) -- The lower house of the Brazilian Congress says that about 30 Indians armed with bows and arrows tried to break into the chamber of deputies but police and security personnel held them at bay with pepper spray.

Four police officers suffered light injuries during Tuesday's brief confrontation. The Chamber of Deputies press office says a police officer escaped injury when an arrow struck his boot.

The Indians were protesting a bill that would give Congress the authority to demarcate indigenous territory. That authority currently resides with the executive branch.

Indians and other opponents of the bill say it would give more power to large landowners and mining and lumber companies that operate in the Amazon region where most of Brazil's indigenous population resides.

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