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Libyan exiles protest as embassy drops rebel flag

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Libyan exiles protest as embassy drops rebel flag
The independence-era flag was raised by the Libyan mission in February
13:07 CEST+02:00
A group of opposition exile Libyans have gathered outside the Libyan embassy in Stockholm on Monday to protest that the independence era rebel flag raised in February has been taken down.

The protesters argued that there was a connection with reports that the new head of the embassy is a follower of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

The embassy stated via a security guard that it was not prepared to talk to journalists.

The rebel flag was raised on February 22nd when the former embassy boss, chargé d'affaires Abdelmaged Ali Buzrigh, changed sides and distanced himself from Qaddafi.

The regime responded by sacking him and replacing him with Salah Umi, who has been accused by Buzrigh, among others, of belonging to Qaddafi's notorious external security service.

Buzrigh has warned the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs that Salah Umi and another Libyan diplomat are dangerous people.

The embassy has refused to comment on the allegations.

Since March 10th Sweden and the EU no longer recognise the Qaddafi regime as representative of the Libyan people. Diplomatic contact has been officially severed and the foreign ministry has advised that embassy in Stockholm fulfils no function.

The demonstrators have several demands, according to one who was prepared only to divulge his first name "Abdulasalam".

"The diplomats should be expelled, the flag should be hoisted and we have to given access to the office (editor's note - embassy)," he said.

Abdusalam claimed that the demonstrators plan to continue their protest around the clock until they get their way.

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