Libyan flag torn down at London embassy

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A demonstrator tore down the national flag at the Libyan embassy in London on Thursday and replaced it with the pre-Kadhafi era flag as hundreds of protesters cheered, an AFP photographer said.

As policemen watched, a masked man climbed the front of the elegant building, tore down the flag and installed the black, red and green flag with a crescent and star which Moamer Kadhafi has banned for more than 40 years.

The flag, which has been adopted by many Libyan opposition supporters, also flew on a flagpole at the nearby Libyan consulate building in the upmarket district of Knightsbridge.

It was unclear however who had installed the pre-Kadhafi flag at the consulate.

Contacted by AFP, a member of the embassy staff refused to comment.

Opposition supporter Hisham Benghaldon said: "This is the flag of national unity, it is the real flag of the Libyan people.

"The tide is turning against Kadhafi, but he refuses to deal with it."

Anti-regime supporters have mounted almost daily protests at the London embassy and on Wednesday demonstrators occupied the £10 million ($16 million, 11 million euro) mansion of Kadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, in an exclusive suburb of the city.

© 2011 AFP

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