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A protester has been left critically injured after a Confederate statue that was being torn down during a demonstration Portsmouth, Virginia came crashing down on his head Wednesday night.

The man, believed to be in his thirties, had been part of a group of protesters attempting to topple the statue yesterday evening, WAVY News reported.

According to one witness, the group had attached ropes around the base of the statue and had been pulling away at it for ‘some time’, when the monument eventually gave way and fell forwards.

The man, who has not yet been identified, had been standing directly in front of the statue as it fell, striking him in the head, a witness said.

A witness said the protester’s skull was showing and he as convulsing on the ground.

The Portsmouth Police Department urged all citizens to avoid the area as they attempted to disperse demonstrators and investigate ‘an incident that resulted in a citizen getting injured’, the department said in a tweet.

Demonstrators stopped to commemorate the man with a moment of silence before acquiescing to police demands to leave the area.

The man was taken to the hospital, though his condition is not known at this time.

In total, four statues were beheaded and pulled down at the Portsmouth Confederate Monument as police watched on Wednesday.

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