NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The city of New Orleans' plans to remove four prominent Confederate monuments have been placed on hold by a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction Friday blocking the city from removing the monuments until an appeal is heard. The judges gave no reasons.

Opponents of removing the monuments had so far failed to convince state or federal district judges to stop the removal, approved last year by the City Council.

At the 5th Circuit, they argued in briefs that the complex process of removing the large monuments could cause damage that could not be repaired if the courts ultimately rule that they should stay in place.

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