Israeli diplomats flee Cairo after attack on embassy

September 10th, 2011 - 11:36 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Sep 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Israeli ambassador to Egypt and the embassy staff were Saturday waiting at the Cairo international airport for an Israeli military plane to whisk them away to Tel Aviv after an attack on the embassy building, Al Jazeera reported.

A group of protesters breached early Saturday multiple floors of a high-rise building housing the Israeli embassy.

Al-Jazeera aired a video footage showing Israeli mission documents being thrown out of the windows as the demonstrators reportedly broke into the embassy’s archives.

Several hundred protesters remain outside the building in a standoff with police reinforcements which have arrived in the area supported by at least 20 armored vehicles.

Police have fired warning shots with rubber bullets and used tear gas to disperse the crowds. Local media reported at least 450 protesters injured in clashes with authorities.

Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf summoned Saturday his cabinet crisis team and the interior ministry put police on high alert.

Israel has created a crisis centre under Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, which is monitoring the situation in the Egyptian capital following the riots.

On Friday evening demonstrators partially destroyed a wall built outside the Israeli embassy to protect the building, ripped down the Israeli flag and set several police cars on fire.

Egyptians have been staging mass protests outside the embassy and calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador for almost a month following the border deaths of five Egyptian policemen accidentally killed Aug 18 as an Israeli helicopter hunted a group of militants near the Egyptian border.

Egypt has asked Israel for an official apology and demanded a probe into the deaths of the policemen.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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