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Fire rips through a retail store in Manchester city centre, on August 9/AFP


Libya, Iran blast Britain over riots

Fire rips through a retail store in Manchester city centre, on August 9/AFP

TRIPOLI, Aug 10 – Libya on Wednesday joined international outcasts Iran and Zimbabwe in voicing scathing criticism of Britain over its handling of four nights of riots.

The regime of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi called on Prime Minister David Cameron to step down, saying he had “lost all legitimacy.”

“Cameron and his government must leave after the popular uprising against them and the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations by police,” Libya’s JANA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim as saying.

“Cameron and his government have lost all legitimacy,” he said.

“These demonstrations show that the British people reject this government which is trying to impose itself through force.”

Kaaim called on the “UN Security Council and the international community not to stay with its arms crossed in the face of the flagrant violation of the rights of the British people.”

Nightly riots which began in London and quickly spread to other major cities have gripped Britain since Saturday when an angry crowd marched to demand justice after a 29-year-old man was shot dead by police.

The unrest is the worst since the 1980s and more than 450 people have been arrested so far.

Iran urged Britain on Tuesday to show “restraint” in dealing with rioters, the state television website said.

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Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast asked “the British government to prevent the use of violence by the police, and to engage in dialogue with the protesters and examine their demands in order to restore calm,” it said.

In 2009, Britain and other Western countries condemned Tehran for violently crushing protests that followed the controversial re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe took the opportunity to urge his old foe Britain to leave its former colony alone.

“Britain I understand is on fire, London especially and we hope they can extinguish their fire, pay attention to their internal problems and to that fire which is now blazing all over, and leave us alone,” Mugabe said.

“We do not have any fire here and we do not want them to continue to create unnecessary problems in our country. We want peace, and the people of Zimbabwe want peace.”


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