A crowd of Syrians stormed the Syrian embassy in Cairo smashing furniture and equipment and setting fire to parts of the building in protest over the latest bloodshed in the country, an embassy official and a witness said on Saturday.
Rallies also broke out outside Syrian embassies in Britain, Germany and the United States after human rights activists reported more than 300 people were killed in shelling by government forces in the city of Homs.
In Cairo, embassy official Ammar Mohamed said he had been told by security officials about the overnight attack and arrived at the site to assess the damage. The scene was calm by early morning and Egyptian police were guarding the embassy.
It was the second such attack on the mission. The embassy was broken into last week in another demonstration against President Bashar al-Assad who has turned his army against demonstrators seeking an end to his rule.
Hundreds of demonstrators also gathered at a police station a few streets from the Cairo embassy to demand the release of as many as 11 Syrians and an Egyptian who they said were detained during the protest at the mission.
“God you are so strong, help us secure victory over Bashar,” chanted protesters outside the Cairo police station where they said the detainees from the demonstration were taken.
The gate of the embassy in central Cairo was broken and furniture and computers were smashed on the second floor of the building, a Reuters witness said, viewing the site after the attack. Parts of the first floor were burned, he said.
In Kuwait, witnesses say demonstrators have stormed into the Syrian Embassy compound in the Gulf state, breaking windows and hoisting the flag of the opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Some political groups in Kuwait have called for the expulsion of Syrian diplomats from the Gulf nation. Gulf states have played a central role in Arab efforts to end Syria’s bloodshed.
Witnesses say there were no serious injuries at the embassy, where protesters ripped down the Syrian flag and replaced it with the colors of the uprising. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media
Police later cleared the area and blocked roads.
Meanwhile, five men were arrested Saturday after gaining entry to the Syrian embassy in London, police said, as protesters demonstrated outside the building.
Around 150 protesters gathered outside the plush property in Belgrave Square, one of central London's finest squares, which houses a string of embassies.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said the arrests were for public order offences after the demonstration broke out at around 2:00am (0200 GMT).
The spokesman said “appropriate policing” was now in place.
The demonstration occurred amid reports that Syrian forces killed at least 217 civilians, including women and children, in a “massacre” in the central city of Homs, ahead of a United Nations vote on the repression.
“Officers are at the scene and appropriate policing is in place,” the Scotland Yard spokesman said.
“Five males gained entry to the building. They have now been arrested.”
The BBC said embassy windows had reportedly been smashed and demonstrators reported being prevented from leaving by the police.
Around 50 mainly Syrian protesters broke into their country’s embassy in Athens early on Saturday, smashing windows and painting anti-government slogans on the walls, a police source said.
On Thursday, protesters staged a demonstration in front of the Syrian embassy in Amman, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Hama massacre on which the late Syrian president, father of Bashar al-Assad, carried out to crush uprising.
At the United Nations, the Security Council was due to meet later in the day to vote on a European-Arab draft resolution endorsing an Arab League plan calling for Assad to resign.