Dozens of students have forcibly entered the British Embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran, forcing staff to flee the building. State TV shows the young Iranian men throwing rocks, whilst other reports say petrol bombs and burning documents have been thrown within the building and out of windows.
Protesters in the city had clashed earlier with anti-riot police, chanting “Death to England”, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”, according to the semi-official news agency, Fars.
Smoke has been seen emerging from parts of the embassy grounds, and the British flag has been ripped down and replaced by a banner with the name a Shiite saint of the seventh century, Imam Hussein.
Police tried to clear the site as protesters burnt the Union Jack — as well as the US and Israeli flags — and scaled the gates, entering the compound. There has been no word of casualties, though Sky News journalist Neal Mann — @FieldProducer — has Tweeted:
“Reuters: six UK embassy staff taken hostage by protesters in northern compound of Tehran embassy – Mehr news agency”
“Worth noting that currently only source for UK embassy hostages line appears to be Mehr which has since taken down its story…”
The latest report from Reuters reads:
Iranian police on Tuesday secured the release of six employees of the British embassy compound in northern Tehran who had been taken hostage by hardline students earlier in the day, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. “Police freed the six people working for the British embassy in Gholhak garden [the British diplomatic compound],” Fars said.