British and Italian embassies in Libya attacked

The British government says it is expelling the Libyan Ambassador after the British embassy in Tripoli was attacked.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement Sunday that he condemns the attacks on the embassy premises in Tripoli, as well attacks on the diplomatic missions of other countries. He said the attacks have prompted him to expel the ambassador, who now has 24 hours to leave the country.

The attacks on the diplomatic missions breach the Vienna Convention, Hague added.

The Italian Foreign Ministry says its embassy was damaged by vandals and accused the Kaddafi regime of failing to take measures to protect foreign missions.


The ministry issued a statement Sunday following reports from Tripoli that a fire had broken out at the Italian embassy. Italy withdrew its diplomats weeks ago.

NATO warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes in Libya for the past month as part of a U.N. mandate to protect Libyan civilians.