British embassy staff attacked in Zimbabwe

British and American embassy staff have been attacked in Zimbabwe, according to reports.

The Reuters news agency reports that local police detained staff from both embassies today.

The US ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee, told the BBC that the police had attempted to run the convoy of embassy staff off the road earlier on Thursday and that an official was beaten up.

The BBC quotes Mr McGee as describing the incident as a “serious breach of protocol” and describing Zimbabwe as a “lawless country”.

The US ambassador said the convoy had their tyres slashed and then at a road block had equipment stolen and were threatened to be burnt alive in their cars.

Four staff from the British embassy and ten from the US embassy are believed to be still being held at the road block.

A spokeswoman at the Foreign Office said they were still trying to collect information relating to the incident.

The White House released a statement describing the incident as “outrageous and completely unacceptable”.

The officials are visiting Zimbabwe ahead of the upcoming presidential run-off.