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Washington — The Pentagon said Saturday it was ready to provide military help to authorities scrambling to contain unrest in Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s death has sparked widespread protests, but Gov. Tim Walz has not requested federal troops.

Jonathan Rath Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman, said several military units have been placed on higher alert “as a prudent planning measure” in case Walz asks for help. The Associated Press first reported on the potential deployments and, citing sources with direct knowledge of the orders, named four locations from which soldiers would be drawn.

Hoffman did not identify the units, but other officials said they are mainly military police. Hoffman said these are units normally on 48-hour recall to support state authorities in the event of crises like natural disasters. They are now on four-hour alert, Hoffman said.

Defense officials said there was no intent by the Pentagon to deploy any federal forces to Minnesota unless Walz asked for help. If he did make such a request, federal units such as military police could provide logistical and other kinds of support to the Minnesota National Guard or state law enforcement, but would not get directly involved in law enforcement under current plans, the officials said. They were not authorized to discuss the planning publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.