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Governor orders guards to withdraw

Missouri governor Jay Nixon has ordered the US state's National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, where nightly scenes of unrest have erupted since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Mr Nixon announced what he called a systematic withdrawal of Guard officers today.

He said they have effectively protected the city while other agencies worked to restore trust between law enforcement and residents.

Since the guard's arrival on Monday, flare-ups in the small section of town that had been the centre of nightly unrest have begun to subside.

The quietest night was overnight Wednesday and Thursday, when police arrested only a handful of people in the protest zone.

Since demonstrations began after the August 9 shooting of Michel Brown, authorities have arrested at least 163 people in the protest area.

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