Azerbaijani embassy in London stormed by radical religious group, envoy denounces attack as "barbaric" [UPDATE]
The Azerbaijani embassy in London was stormed by a radical religious group, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Azernews.
After bursting into the embassy building, the vandalizing group members raised religious flags and chanted radical religious slogans on the balcony of the embassy building, the ministry says.
After local police intervened, the group members were escorted out of the building and detained.
The embassy staff was not injured in the incident. The incident is being investigated by local police. Through diplomatic channels, the issue of the security of diplomats and diplomatic premises in accordance with the Vienna Convention was raised with UK authorities, the Foreign Ministry added.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov in a tweet said that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu backed official Baku and extended full support.
“Had a phone conversation with FM @MevlutCavusoglu of brotherly #Türkiye. I thank Minister for the strong support, and condemnation of the violent attack of radical religious groups against the Azerbaijani embassy in the UK.”
Azernews reports citing foreign sources that the group, called Mahdi Servants Union, committed the monstrous act of vandalism.
"Eight men have been arrested after a gang of protesters stormed the Azerbaijani embassy in London. Footage on social media showed men waving flags from the balcony of the country’s base in Kensington. Slogans in Arabic have been daubed on the wall and the Azerbaijani flag was taken down. It’s unclear what sparked the protest but it was led by a group called The Mahdi Servants Union. It is a Shia Muslim organisation based in London which says it wants to establish ‘civilisational dominance’ on its website. Its leader Yasser Al-Habib is a controversial cleric whose film The Lady Of Heaven had to be pulled from UK cinemas earlier this year after protests from some Sunni Muslims offended by its interpretation of Islamic history," metro.co.uk said.
In a similar vein, Azerbaijani ambassador to the UK Elin Suleymanov in a tweet reacted to the attack on the nation's embassy in London.
"The attack on @AzerbaijaninUK by London-based radicals is unacceptable & barbaric. It directly undermined the principle of diplomatic premises' inviolability. I am currently in Baku & grateful to see that our colleagues are safe in spite of the threat to their safety & security," the ambassador said.
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