Protests in Ottawa saw a skirmish on Friday afternoon as groups for and against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime confronted one another outside the country's embassy.

A pro-Gadhafi protestor was injured and treated in an ambulance, and an Ottawa RCMP officer hurt his leg and was taken to hospital.

Police took out their batons and broke up fighting between about 75 anti-Gadhafi protesters and a handful of people supporting the Libyan leader.

"We have the permission to say what we think is right for Libya today, and they came after us... and they attack us, they cross the street and they attack us," Gadhafi supporter Abdalla Ali said.    


A man standing in front of Libyan independence flags, the banner of anti-Gadhafi demonstrators, shouts toward the Libyan Embassy in Ottawa during Friday's parallel protest. ((CBC))

The crowd of anti-Gadhafi protesters then swelled to about 150 people who took up position across Metcalfe Street from the embassy, while about 15 people supporting Gadhafi remained on the other side of the street.

"These people are inciting hate. They want a murder to happen. They are promoting a guy who has killed 30,000 people," anti-Gadhafi demonstrator Reda Zariug said. "I think every single Canadian on this street should be with us right now."

Police stood between the two sides, and Metcalfe was reopened to allow the afternoon rush hour traffic to move through.

At about 3 p.m. ET, a man in a suit who appeared to be an embassy worker crossed the street to confront the anti-Gadhafi protesters, but police tackled him and moved him away away from the protest.

Demonstrators left the street after about an hour, but both sides were slated to assemble on Parliament Hill on Saturday.

The protests came on the same day NATO launched airstrikes on the eastern oil town of Brega in Libya and amid rumours Gadhafi was injured in an earlier airstrike on the capital, Tripoli.