Turkish president's bodyguards blamed after protesters beaten bloody in Washington

The meeting took place with a White House still responding to what a senior US official said was Trump's disclosure of classified information about an Islamic State terror threat involving laptop computers on aircraft.

Of the two-dozen protesters, nine were taken to the hospital following the melee and two Americans were arrested.

"Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. Police officials said they plan to pursue all charges and find others involved.

The melee prompted Samantha Power, the former USA ambassador to the United Nations under Obama, to tweet Tuesday that "clearly Erdogan's guards feel complete impunity, drawing on tools of repression they use at home & knowing he has their back, no matter what".

"Yesterday afternoon we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence", a police spokesman said.

It said that about eight people told officers they were attacked, thrown on the ground and stomped.

The Turkish government has also raised concerns about a USA criminal case against Reza Zarrab, a dual Turkish-Iranian national, arrested past year and charged with helping Iran process millions of dollar in transactions that violated United States sanctions against Tehran.

Meanwhile, the religious rights advocacy group the American Center for Law and Justice has written a formal letter to the United Nations in protest of Mr Brunson's detention. "There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior", Sen.

The background of the two men arrested wasn't immediately clear. The other, Ayten Necmi, is listed as a resident of NY and was charged with aggravated assault.

Jalal Kheirabaoi, 42, of Fairfax, Virginia, is charged with assaulting a police officer, who refused treatment for lacerations to his face.

The State Department confirmed in a statement Wednesday that Turkish security officials were involved in the brawl.

Under the eyes of shocked American passers-by, a small group of pro-Kurdish protesters who gathered on the USA capital's "Embassy Row" received a taste of the hardline tactics that Erdogan has adopted in his homeland to quell dissent. "We never were expecting that something like this would happen", she said.

Trump met face-to-face with Erdogan for the first time at the White House on Tuesday.

Trump said Tuesday that the US would ensure the PKK has "no safe quarter".

He also called on the Trump administration not to repeat "errors of the past concerning the fight against terrorist groups".

Erdogan responded that there is there is no place for any Kurdish "terrorist organizations" in any agreement about the region's future.

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