Police storm occupied Libyan embassy
TT/AFP/The Local · 11 Aug 2011, 15:44
Published: 11 Aug 2011 11:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Aug 2011 15:44 GMT+02:00
- Two Libyan diplomats expelled from Sweden (20 May 11)
- Six held after intrusion at Libyan embassy (22 Apr 11)
- Libyan exiles protest as embassy drops rebel flag (18 Apr 11)
Some 20 police officers stormed the building and seven people have been arrested, according to police reports.
"The purpose of going in was to see if these people had committed any offence. When negotiations don't lead anywhere then you have to do something," police spokesperson Kjell Lindgren to news agency TT.
The seven arrested people have been taken to a police station on suspicion of illegal trespass, intent to commit arson and vandalism.
According to Lindgren the intruders demonstrated that they had flammable liquids and lighters by showing them in the windows.
None of the seven resisted arrest, the police confirmed.
Several people forced their way into the embassy in central Stockholm on Thursday morning, raising the rebel flag. A further banner declaring in English "We will kill ourselves if your try to come in" was draped across the building's façade.
According to police officers in attendance the atmosphere was heated and the action was interpreted as a demonstration against the Tripoli regime.
At 10.45am an alarm went off in the embassy building alerting the police.
At first police were under the impression that there were staff on the premises but it has since been established that the building was empty at the time of the break in.
The police sent around 15 patrol cars to the scene and parts of the surrounding streets in central Stockholm were been cordoned off.
According to information from the police there were also some 4-5 people present outside of the embassy waving flags.
Sweden in May expelled two Libyan diplomats accused of inappropriate activities, reportedly Tripoli's last two representatives in the Scandinavian country.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said in early March, before the NATO-led air strikes against Muammar Qaddafi's regime began, that he no longer considered the Libyan embassy in Stockholm a legitimate representative of the Libyan people.