Counter-protesters outnumber white supremacists in Washington rally (Lead)

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Washington : Counter-protesters outnumbered a small group of white supremacists as it staged a rally near the White House here, media reports said.

The participants for the far-right "Unite the Right 2" rally on Sunday fell far short of the hundreds that organiser Jason Kessler was expecting, reports CNN.

About 400 people were expected but only about 20 far-right supporters attended the demonstration, which came a year after clashes in the first edition of the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one person dead and elevated racial tensions in America.

Kessler, 34, blamed the low turnout on logistical issues and confusion regarding the group's transportation.

A small stage and speaker system was set up at the Lafayette Park, where attendees stood silently and listened to a slate of impromptu speakers.

They addressed the small group over the jeers of the anti-racist demonstrators, who chanted, "Nazis go home!" and "Shame! Shame! Shame!"

The two sides were kept apart by a heavy police presence.

Counter-protesters also gathered near the Washington suburban metro station of Vienna, Virginia, where Kessler and companions were escorted onto a train to the city for the demonstration, reports the Guardian.

Everywhere they went on Sunday afternoon, the far-right supporters were confronted by counter-protesters.

Two people were arrested as part of the demonstrations.

Sunday's demonstrations took place against a backdrop of heightened racial tensions in the US, CNN reported.

Recent months have seen a series of high-profile incidents in which police were called on people of colour for innocuous acts, like napping in a dormitory common room, having a barbecue and going to the pool.

This week, NFL players in the first pre-season games resumed their protests over police brutality against blacks by raising their fists, kneeling or sitting out during the National Anthem.

President Donald Trump condemned last year's events in Charlottesville in a tweet on Saturday morning, saying they "resulted in senseless death and division".