Fresh protests at Syrian embassy in London

Fresh protests have taken place outside the Syrian embassy in London amid reports that at least 55 people were killed by shelling in the country.

Twenty two people were arrested on Saturday after crowds had initially gathered during the early hours, with some trying to enter the building.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office condemned the attack on the embassy and said security was being reviewed.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "horrified" at reports from Syria.

'Cold-blooded cynicism'

His comments come as an Arab and Western-backed resolution condemning the violent crackdown in Syria was vetoed at the UN Security Council by Russia and China.

Mr Hague said he "unequivocally" condemned the use of tanks, mortars and artillery in civilian areas in the city of Homs.

"It is all the more chilling that these events occurred on the 30th anniversary of the Hama massacre, in which it is estimated that 20,000 people were killed," he added.

"The Syrian regime's actions display President Assad's cold-blooded cynicism in the face of mounting international pressure for the UN Security Council to do its utmost to end the bloodshed in Syria."

After the UN vote, Mr Hague issued a statement to say that the veto "lets the Syrian people down and will only encourage President Assad's brutal regime to increase the killing".

"It did not impose any sanctions, nor did it authorise military action. At every stage we worked to accommodate the concerns of some Council members and tabled a text which did just that," he added.

In London, crowds of people, chanting and waving flags, turned up outside the embassy in Belgrave Square calling for the Syrian Ambassador to be expelled by the UK.

Two police officers were taken to hospital with minor injuries after an attempt was made to break in overnight.

Scotland Yard said of the arrests, 21 were on suspicion of public order offences including entering the embassy, and another was on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

Image caption Crowds of people have turned up outside the Embassy in central London

During the day, rocks and bottles were thrown at the building, which was being guarded by police.

The clashes came as protesters forced their way into four other Syrian embassies in European and Middle Eastern cities.

The FCO said the Met were reviewing security arrangements at the Embassy and would take "appropriate action" to ensure the safety of its staff inside.

"The UK takes seriously its obligations to protect the staff and premises of foreign states in the UK," a spokesman said.

"The FCO commends the swift action of the Metropolitan Police who have arrested a number of the protesters involved in the break-in.

"Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the two officers who were hospitalised as a result of injuries sustained while responding to the protests."

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