Sweden: Riots in Malmo after far-right activists burn Quran
Violent protests broke out in the Swedish town of Malmo late Friday after a Quran-burning incident earlier in the day. Reportedly, the demonstrators tossed stones at the police and burned tires during the clashes. The clashes were related to an incident on Friday afternoon where members of the Danish far-right party Stram Kurs burned a Quran in public and shared the video online.
300 people took to streets in Malmo
Citing the police and local media, the news agency Agence France-Presse reported that around 300 people took to the streets in Malmo in the late hours of Friday. The rioters committed arson and also threw stones at the police and rescue services, according to the Associated Press. Reportedly, several police officers were slightly injured and around 15 people were detained.
Connection between riots and what happened earlier: Police
"We don't have this under control but we are working actively to take control," a police spokesperson told Reuters. "We see a connection between what is happening now and what happened earlier today," the spokesperson added, referring to the Quran-burning incident.
Riots erupted at same place where Quran was burned
The spokesperson said that the demonstrations had taken place in the same place where the Quran had been burned. Swedish newspaper Daily Aftonbladet reported that several anti-Islam activities had taken place in Malmo on Friday. Three men were reportedly arrested after kicking a copy of the Quran between them in a public square, according to the Associated Press.
Stram Kurs leader was banned from entering Sweden earlier
Rasmus Paludan—who leads the anti-immigration party Stram Kurs—was due to speak at the anti-Islam demonstration, however, he was banned from entering Sweden for two years and later arrested near Malmo. "We suspect that he was going to break the law in Sweden," Calle Persson, a Malmo Police spokesperson told AFP. "There was also a risk that his behavior would pose a threat to society."
Paludan had burned Quran wrapped in bacon last year
However, Paludan's supporters went ahead with the anti-Islam rally. Paludan, who sparked a controversy last year by burning a Quran wrapped in bacon, wrote on Facebook, "Sent back and banned from Sweden for two years. However, rapists and murderers are always welcome!"