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UPDATE: Officers seriously injured and 12 arrested after Iranian Embassy protests

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UPDATE: Officers seriously injured and 12 arrested after Iranian Embassy protests

At least five officers have been seriously injured and 12 people arrested after violent disorder broke out near the Iranian Embassy on Sunday.

Officers were on duty at the embassy in Princes Gate, SW7 to facilitate peaceful protests. Large gatherings had taken place in the area in recent days and all had been largely good natured.

While the majority of those who attended the embassy on Sunday continued to act responsibly, a significant group who arrived actively sought to confront officers and protestors from groups they were not in agreement with.

Public order teams with protective equipment including helmets and shields had to be brought in to restore order among the protestors and to protect other officers.

The disorder initially broke out in the immediate vicinity of the embassy before moving to Marble Arch and then to Maida Vale where the Islamic Centre of England was targeted.

Officers were able to protect the security of the building but in doing so, were subjected to further attacks.

Masonry, bottles and other projectiles were thrown and a number of officers were injured. At least five are in hospital with injuries including broken bones.

12 people have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.

Commander Karen Findlay said: “We respect the right of people to protest peacefully and always work with organisers to make that possible, but we will not tolerate unprovoked attacks on our officers as we have seen today or protest that leaves other communities feeling unsafe.

“We have officers in hospital tonight because they were attacked in what was a significant outbreak of violent disorder. We will make sure they get the support they need.

“We have already made a number of arrests, but we know there are people who were not caught tonight who committed serious offences.

"In the coming days, we will be using all the tools at our disposal – including CCTV and other footage – to identify those people and bring them to justice.”

A Section 35 dispersal order has been put in place for the next 48 hours in the area impacted by today’s disorder.

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