MOSCOW: Belarus said Monday one of its diplomats had been injured following an attack on its embassy in London, amid international backlash over a migrant crisis the West blames on the ex-Soviet country.
Western countries accuse Belarus of having engineered a migrant influx at its border with EU member Poland by letting thousands of people in and encouraging them to cross into the European Union. They say it was a form of retaliation against EU sanctions.
The Belarusian foreign ministry said in a statement that its embassy in London had been attacked by suspects it suggested belonged to a “radical immigrant group”.
They damaged the facade of the building and “physically attacked” diplomats who arrived at the scene, said the statement.
One of the diplomats was taken to hospital with a broken nose, a mild concussion and a missing tooth, the ministry said. The attack “eloquently demonstrates the true face and methods of fanatics, whom a number of countries of the collective West are persistently trying to pass off as peaceful protesters”, the statement said.
The Metropolitan police confirmed that a Belarusian embassy staffer had reported having been “assaulted and was left with a facial injury”. It told AFP one man had been arrested nearby and detained and that their investigation was continuing. Diplomat Andrei Miskevich, who was present at the scene, told Belarusian news agency Belta that eggs had been thrown at the embassy after a “fairly peaceful” protest earlier in the day.