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Syrian protesters storm embassies

Syrian protesters have stormed three of their country's diplomatic missions in Germany and Switzerland in what appeared to be a protest against the killing of a Kurdish opposition leader.

Syria's embassy in Berlin was stormed late on Saturday, and another group of protesters took on the consulate in the northern city Hamburg in the early hours of Sunday - causing damage to the buildings and tagging walls with slogans denouncing President Bashar Assad's autocratic regime.

In Switzerland, five men were arrested after forcing their way into Syria's mission to the United Nations in Geneva late on Saturday.

The men, who had been among a small group protesting outside the building, have since been released.

Friday's killing of Syrian opposition leader Mashaal Tammo caused international outrage and drew up to 50,000 mourners into the streets of Kurdish-dominated Qamishli in north-eastern Syria on Saturday, also sparking protests abroad.

Berlin police spokeswoman Claudia Elitok said 24 Syrians who had protested in front of the embassy eventually tore down the fence late and managed to enter the building where they damaged paintings, furniture and sprayed slogans such as "Free Syria" on walls.

The ambassador, who lives in the building, called German police for help. Several officers entered the embassy and urged protesters to leave the grounds, which they did peacefully. Nobody was arrested, she said.

In Hamburg, some 30 protesters turned out in front of the Syrian consulate early on Sunday, with some of them starting to tag the building's walls, eventually breaking ground-floor windows and forcing their way inside, police spokeswoman Karina Sadowsky said.

Protesters smashed windows, tagged walls and also broke into office rooms on the building's first floor, but they did not reach the consulate's rooms higher up.

Four Syrians were arrested and are still being detained pending verification of their visa situation, Ms Sadowsky said.

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