After Libya Strike, UK, Italy Embassies Hit

Retaliation for NATO strike; London boots Libyan ambassador
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2011 11:59 AM CDT
Ambassador of Libya Omar Jelban, shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth II. Britain moved to expel Libya's ambassador today after the UK embassy in Tripoli was among those attacked by a mob.   (AP Photo/ John Stillwell, pool)
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(Newser) – A Libyan mob attacked the British and Italian embassies today in Tripoli, reports the AP, in response to the NATO airstrike overnight that killed the youngest son of Moammar Gadhafi. The Guardian reports that Britain wasted no time in responding, calling Libyan ambassador Omar Jelban "persona non grata," and giving him 24 hours to leave the country. "The Vienna convention requires the Gaddafi regime to protect diplomatic missions," said Britain's foreign minister. "By failing to do so that regime has once again breached its international responsibilities."

Two UK buildings burned in the embassy attack, the Guardian notes, but they were largely symbolic: They were both empty as Britain has evacuated all embassy personnel from Tripoli. The Italian foreign ministry said that other embassies and foreign residences were also being targeted by mobs, and accused Gadhafi of being complicit.

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