Libyan ambassador leaves UK after being expelled

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The Libyan ambassador to Britain has left the country after being expelled over attacks on the British embassy in Tripoli, officials in London said Tuesday.

Omar Jelban departed the country on Monday after being ordered to leave a day earlier over the mob attack on the British mission in the Libyan capital.

"We can confirm that ... he left the UK yesterday," a Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP.

Announcing the expulsion on Sunday, Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Libyan regime had failed in its duty to protect diplomatic missions.

Protesters also targeted the Italian embassy in Sunday's attacks, which erupted just hours after the Libyan regime accused NATO of killing one of Moamer Kadhafi's sons and three of his grandchildren in bombing raids.

Britain and Italy are both involved in military strikes against Libya as part of a UN-authorised operation to protect civilians from fierce fighting between Kadhafi's forces and rebels opposed to his four-decade rule.

Britain's embassy was thought to be empty at the time, as London has had no diplomatic presence in Tripoli since it recalled its ambassador at the start of hostilities. The only British team is in the rebel-held city of Benghazi.

The Italian embassy was also thought to be empty, as Rome closed down its diplomatic post in March.

© 2011 AFP

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