We have you surrounded! Armed cowboys lay siege to federal agents to get 'stolen' cattle back after government backed down and said it would STOP targeting Nevada rancher in 'range war'
Protesters demand cows that were already rounded up are returned
Highway is closed off and SWAT teams spotted as protest moves to corral
Politicians have compared the standoff to Tiananmen Square
The Bundy family says they've owned the 600,000 acres since 1870 but the Bureau of Land Management says they are illegally grazing
The dispute began in 1993 when land was reclassified as to federal property to protect a rare desert tortoise, the government claimed
Federal officers stormed the property this week with helicopters and snipers to back up about 200 armed agents
They have reportedly seized around 350 of Cliven Bundy's 900 cattle
Tensions escalated after private militias poured in to support the family
By Ryan Gorman and Dan Miller and Meghan Keneally and Jessica Jerreat
The last rancher in southern Nevada has won a battle over the federal government's round up of his cattle on public land after a week-long standoff with agents.
The Bureau of Land Management announced today that it would stop trying to seize the cattle of Cliven Bundy after armed militia gathered in Nevada.
Shortly after the deal was agreed, about 100 armed protesters, some on horse back, headed to a corral to demand the BLM also hands back cattle it had already taken.
Armed members of the BLM and the Bundy family were also reported to be involved in tense talks about the cattle.
As it announced earlier today that it was backing off, the BLM said it did so because it feared for the safety of employees and members of the public.
Despite the week-long protest being called off, there were claims that nearly two dozen police and a SWAT team were waiting on the road near the encampment.
There have been no threats of violence from the protesters, who were asked to leave any guns they may have in their vehicles before coming to the camp.
In previous days, men carrying AK-47s and handguns had been pictured at the camp in southern Nevada that was set up in protest at the bureau's attempt to confiscate cattle from Bundy, whose family has been working the land for centuries.
The BLM had offered to pay Bundy for the cattle it has already rounded up, but protesters are demanding they are released to the rancher.
The cattle are being held in a corral near Mesquite, close to where the SWAT team were spotted.
About an hour after Bundy agreed a deal with the county sheriff, about 100 protesters, some armed and on horseback, headed to the corral.
Nevada Police have pleaded with drivers to avoid the highway from Las Vegas to Mesquite, as protesters swelled out across the road, causing it to be cut off in both directions.
The BLM has said its agents will not be able to leave until protesters are at a safe distance, according to 8 News Now.
The station reported that members of the Bundy family and the BLM were meeting to discuss the fate of the cattle, and that both sides are armed.
The dispute that triggered the roundup dates to 1993, when the BLM cited concern for the federally protected tortoise. The agency later revoked grazing rights for Bundy, who is the last rancher in Clark County.
BLM director Neil Kornze said on Saturday however: 'Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.'
Bundy claims ancestral rights to graze his cattle on lands his Mormon family settled in the 19th century. He stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded several court orders to remove his animals.
BLM officials say Bundy now owes more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees.
'I have no contract with the United States government. I was paying grazing fees for management and that's what BLM was supposed to be, land managers and they were managing my ranch out of business, so I refused to pay,' the rancher told ABC News.
Supporters for Bundy said about 300 protesters had arrived to help campaign on the rancher's behalf. The BLM put the number at 100.
The protest came to an end after Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie brokered a deal with Bundy.
The sheriff has been negotiating with the rancher for months, and the pair met at the ranch today to finalize the deal, according to 8 News Now.
The BLM is reportedly keen to go ahead with the sale of cattle it has rounded up, but is said to be willing to share the profits with Bundy.
As the protest became heated earlier this week, a Republican U.S. Senator and Nevada's governor spoke out in favor of a rancher fighting efforts by federal agents to seize both his land and his cattle.
Sen Dean Heller, of Nevada, says he told U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) head Neil Kornze that law-abiding Nevadans such as rancher Cliven Bundy shouldn't be penalized by an 'overreaching' agency.
Governor Buran Sandoval, also a Republican, previously spoke out against the actions, saying they are leading to an 'atmosphere of intimidation.'
Article continued at link with pictures and videos:
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2603026/Senator-speaks-favor-Nevada-rancher-militias-join-battle-federal-agents-accused-acting-like-theyre-Tienanmen-Square-fight-disputed-ranch-land.html#ixzz2yhs1L500
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook