More than 200 demonstrators broke into the courtyard of Bahrain’s Embassy in Baghdad and took down the kingdom’s flag on Thursday night to protest the US-led meeting in Bahrain on Israeli-Palestinian so-called peace.
Police used live rounds to disperse the crowd, police sources told Reuters, with no injuries reported.
“We used our vehicle loudspeakers to encourage protesters to leave the compound,” a police officer stationed near the embassy said. “After they refused, police had to fire into the air.”
One protester said the move aimed at sending a strong statement against the Manama conference, which is seen as an anti-Palestine scheme.
“We took down the Bahraini flag to send a clear message to all those who participated in the Bahrain conference, that we strongly reject normalizing relations with the Zionist occupiers and will never abandon our support of Palestinians,” said the protester, who identified himself as Abu Murtadha Al Moussawi.
In response, Bahrain recalled its ambassador to Iraq for consultations on Thursday after the protests.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain condemns the attack on the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Republic of Iraq by the demonstrators (which) led to sabotage in the embassy building,” a statement on the ministry’s website said.
For its part, the UAE has strongly condemned Thursday’s attack, calling it a “blatant violation” of diplomatic norms and convention.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) called on the Iraqi government to fulfil its responsibilities and legal obligations to protect diplomatic work and the mission headquarters in the capital and Iraqi cities.
On Twitter, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the attack was “unacceptable and dangerous development on political and legal level.”