3 people hurt during riots in Sweden over burning of Quran

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Three people were injured after being hit by police bullets during protests in Sweden’s eastern city of Norrkoping following the burning of a copy of the Muslim holy book Quran by far-right extremists that sparked riots in several Swedish towns over the Easter weekend.

On Thursday, Rasmus Paludan, the Danish leader of the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, burned a copy of the Holy Quran in southern Linkoping in Sweden, according to media reports. Paludan has also threatened to burn copies of the Quran during extremist rallies.

Following the provocation, protests have continued in parts of the country, the Swedish daily Expressen reported.

In a statement, the Norrkoping police department claimed that the officers fired in the air to stop the demonstrators from attacking the police. “Three people seem to have been hit by ricochets and are now being cared for in hospital. All three injured are arrested on suspicion of crime,” police said in an online statement, adding none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Riots broke out in the cities Malmo, Norrkoping and Jonkoping as well as in the capital Stockholm, leaving 125 police vehicles damaged and 34 officers injured, while 13 people were detained.

Eight people were arrested in the city of Norrkoping and 18 people were detained in the neighbouring city of Linkoping, police said in a statement, adding the situation in Norrkoping was calm on Sunday evening.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry had summoned on Sunday Sweden’s charge d’affaires, Hakan Rooth, over the burning of the Quran. The ministry had warned that the burning “bears grave implications on Sweden’s relations with all Muslims.”

The year 2019 distinguished itself greatly by cold and ruthless Islamophobic terrorist attacks in places such as New Zealand’s Christchurch, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Norway. Mosques have been targeted all across Europe, resulting in deaths and injuring dozens.

Some European governments work hard to track and neutralize far-right terrorist groups. On the other hand, they participate in the normalization of Islamophobic conversations in Europe through discriminative declarations, bills and security policies targeting Muslims. Moreover, mainstream media and private institutions are also responsible for anti-Muslim feelings as they continuously spread disinformation that harms the Muslim community.

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