Anti-Gaddafi protesters storm Berlin Libyan embassy

Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:03pm GMT
 

BERLIN Feb 28 (Reuters) - Four people stormed the Libyan embassy in Berlin on Monday, police said, damaging property and tearing a portrait of ruler Muammar Gaddafi in protest against the government's bloody crackdown against popular unrest.

The unidentified protesters flashed the victory sign and shouted "God is Greatest" in Arabic as they were led away.

"Don't worry, we'll kill Gaddafi, I promise," a protester told Reuters TV as he was escorted into a police van. "The Libyan people will kill Gaddafi as he killed the Libyan people."

Police are investigating charges of property damage and trespassing against the four protesters. An additional two protesters, who breached the embassy's security fence but did not enter the building, are under investigation for trespassing.

A larger group of protesters assembled outside the embassy in an attempt to convince embassy workers to publicly oppose Gaddafi as several Libyan diplomats have done since widespread revolt engulfed the North African country two weeks ago.

One protester, giving his name as Sheikh Rooky, told Reuters that the embassy staff are "on the side of the people" and condemn the "massacres happening in Libya" but fear the possible repercussions for speaking out against Gaddafi.

"Unfortunately, they (the embassy staff) cannot talk," Rooky said. "The problem is that their families and children are at home. If they talk, their families will no longer live."

One protester attempted to remove the Libyan flag and replace it with the flag of the Kingdom of Libya, which was overthrown in a military coup led by Gaddafi in 1969. The red, green and black flag has become a symbol of the rebellion.

Last week two Libyan nationals attempted to do the same at the embassy, a villa in suburban west Berlin, before they were apprehended by police.

(Reporting by Holger Koerner; Writing by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Peter Graff)

 
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