Ottawa police are asking for help identifying 15 people accused of storming the Embassy of Senegal.

In a statement, they say a protest was happening just before noon on Aug. 1 and that a group forced its way inside the embassy.

The Senegalese Embassy said in a statement that people violently took over the premises, causing serious damage to the consular section and hurting staff and visitors.

A video posted on Facebook that day by someone sympathetic to the protesters seems to show the group entering the embassy.

The video shows the group gradually making their way through a door from a waiting room into the embassy office, located in a shared low-rise office building.

In the video, at least one man chants in support of Senegalese opposition politician Ousmane Sonko, who is facing charges of insurrection and was recently hospitalized during a hunger strike. That has set off protests in Senegal.

There were also chants accusing President Macky Sall of being a murderer.

The video shows small skirmishes, some spray-painting on the walls and a person tossing what looks to be an egg toward the ceiling. Some in the crowd threw powder on people who attempted to push them back.

The embassy has suspended consular activities such as passport processing, saying it will reopen when it can ensure the safety of the premises. That hadn't happened as of Wednesday afternoon.

Ottawa police identify 15 suspects in storming of Senegalese Embassy.

The police accuse 15 people of assault, mischief over $5,000, forcible entry and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

Ottawa police have not confirmed that the video portrays this specific incident, but they have released images of multiple people who appear to be those in the Facebook video. They are asking anyone who can identify the people involved to contact Ottawa police or Crime Stoppers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2023.

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