OKA, QUEBEC, SEPT. 1 -- Canadian troops backed by armored vehicles and helicopters today swept into a Mohawk Indian community at the center of a 53-day standoff.

Gen. Armand Roy, commander of the Canadian Forces 5th Brigade, said he decided to send in his troops after two Mohawk men were wounded in factional fighting behind Indian barricades erected in April in a land dispute with government officials.

"I decided to move my troops so as to guarantee the security of civilians and my soldiers," Roy said.

The military action came after efforts failed to reach a negotiated settlement in the dispute. The Mohawks have been trying to block a golf course extension on land they claim is theirs, but they have also raised other grievances.

One shot was fired into the air by a Mohawk after the troops moved in, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said, but there were no reports of casualties resulting from the soldiers' advance. Journalists were not allowed into the Kahnesatake Indian settlement overlooking the village of Oka, 18 miles west of Montreal.

About seven armored personnel carriers were halted by a Mohawk who parked a golf cart in front of a barricade. As the military vehicles stopped, a front-end loader with a dozen Mohawks in its bucket arrived and the Indians fanned out into the nearby forest.

The troops moved into an area where the army estimated at least 50 armed members of the militant Mohawk Warriors Society had taken up positions in a pine forest and behind barricades across a highway.

The troops moved easily past a checkpoint known as the North Pole at the north of the Mohawk settlement as well as a barricade on the west side. Armed Mohawks had left both sites several days ago.

The troops then surrounded the Mohawk community center, where about 100 Indian civilians who remain in the settlement were reportedly gathered. The center, about a mile from the nearest barricade, has been used to house a food bank run by the Indians.

{The troops neared the Mohawk warriors' main barricade and dug in, but would not try to capture it during the night, said military sources quoted by Reuter. A negotiator for the Mohawks said the troops were to make the attempt Sunday.}

Quebec provincial police identified the two wounded Mohawks as Chief Francis Jacob and his son Corey.

The two were severely beaten with baseball bats by a group of members of the Warriors Society early this morning, police said. Francis Jacob, who had two black eyes, was later released from a hospital. His son's condition was not known. The cause of the fighting was unclear. But the Warriors Society has been vying with elected Indian officials for authority within the Mohawk community.

Provincial authorities Monday had given the military the go-ahead to end the armed standoff that began July 11, when the Quebec provincial police attempted to storm a Mohawk barricade at Oka. One officer was killed, but it is still not clear whether the shot that killed him was fired by police or Indians. Later that day, fellow Mohawks set up a blockade in sympathy at the Mercier Bridge, a major link between Montreal and its southern suburbs.

On Friday, Mohawks from the Kanewake reserve south of Montreal allowed troops to remove the main barricades they had set up on routes leading to the Mercier Bridge. Quebec Transport Department officials said it would take several days before the bridge can be reopened.

The bridge blockade has forced thousands of commuters on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River to make long detours to Montreal, which is on an island. Angry residents have protested and thrown rocks at Mohawks.

Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa has cut off the broader talks between Mohawks and officials to end the standoff and ordered the army to move in. But Mohawk spokesman Jerry Pelletier said Friday the Indians were ready to resume talks.

The reason that the Mohawks first gave for their protest -- expansion of the golf course -- was settled when the federal government purchased the land and said it would turn it over to the Indians. But militants seized the situation to publicize a much wider range of Indian grievances against the government, including demands for sovereignty.