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The New Arab & agencies

Iraqi protesters storm Bahraini embassy in Baghdad after Palestine conference

Bahraini authorities recalled their ambassador to Iraq in response to the "attack" [Twitter]

Date of publication: 28 June, 2019

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Protesters have stormed the Bahraini embassy compound in Baghdad on Thursday night, removing the flag from above the building and replacing it with a Palestinian banner.

Protesters have stormed the Bahraini embassy compound in Baghdad on Thursday night, removing the flag from above the building and replacing it with a Palestinian banner.

The protest was against a controversial conference held in the Gulf island nation to unveil the United States' long-awaited Palestine-Israel peace plan.

No one was hurt in the standoff that lasted more than an hour and later in the night Iraqi security forces were in control of the area.

Bahraini authorities recalled their ambassador to Iraq Salah Ali Al Malki in response to the "attack" on the embassy building in Baghdad's western neighbourhood of Mansour.

An Iraqi security official said the protesters forced their way in by breaking through the main gate but stayed in the garden without storming the offices inside the compound.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said security forces opened fire in the air to disperse the protesters and reinforcements were sent in.

More than an hour later, the nearly 200 protesters, waving Iraqi and Palestinian flags, dispersed.

The Bahraini diplomats were evacuated earlier from the compound into the heavily fortified Green Zone after the mission received threats, the official said.

The two-day workshop in Bahrain that ended on Wednesday was to promote the Trump administration's $50 billion economic support plan for the Palestinians ahead of a Mideast peace plan.

Palestinians and several Arab countries, including Iraq and Lebanon, have boycotted the Bahrain conference.

Protests have taken place in Palestine, Morocco and Jordan against the conference.

Iraq is home to Iran-backed militias and the embassy attack comes amid tensions between the US and Iran in the Middle East.

Iraq has close relations with both Washington and Tehran and has been trying to ease tensions between them.

The crisis gripping the Middle East stems from President Donald Trump's withdrawal a year ago from the nuclear deal between Iran and other world powers and then imposing crippling new sanctions on Tehran.

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