BRASILIA, Brazil – Iraqi Embassy employees in Brasilia started burning documents Wednesday after TV stations broadcast images of a Saddam Hussein statue being toppled in Baghdad, police said.
Police said they could see men outside the embassy burning boxes and large quantities of paper.
“There were some workers who took papers from the offices to the garden to burn them,” said police Col. Abinor Deilvane, whose unit protects embassies in the Brazilian capital.
Media photographers who arrived a short time later saw three piles of smoldering paper inside the embassy’s walls next to the building.
An embassy official who said he was the secretary of Iraqi Ambassador Jarallah Alobaidy denied documents were being destroyed.
“It’s all lies,” said the official, Abdu Saif. “We are only burning garbage and recently cut grass.”
A short time later, a man who answered the phone at the embassy said only, “I’m not working now” and hung up.