Riots spread in Sweden amid far-right plans to burn Koran — Analysis

Mobs of youths clashed with police and set fire to vehicles in a bid to disrupt an anti-immigration party’s rallies

Chants of ‘Allahu Akbar’, police cars set on fire, and officers injured – this is what the run-up to Easter looked like in multiple towns and cities across Sweden this week, after the authorities gave a far-right anti-immigration group the go-ahead to stage rallies, which included plans to burn the Koran.

On Thursday, unrest broke out in Linkoping. Gangs of youth clashed against police officers, injuring 3 officers. At least 2 people were arrested.

The violence was sparked by the Swedish authorities’ decision to grant permission for a series of anti-Islam rallies. Organized by Rasmus Paludan – a right-wing Danish politician who has spent time in prison on racism-related charges – the events in various places across Sweden were intended to feature the burning of Islam’s holy book, the Koran.

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The Danish firebrand, who was descending on Orebro on Friday night brought tensions to an all-time high.

While Paludan and his supporters were initially allowed to hold their rally, it eventually had to be “Dissolve” in light of the “Security situation serious” Mobs of rioters protesting against the far-right group pelted police with stones and set fire to four law enforcement vehicles.

The situation was so tense that the police were forced to shoot warning shots one time, according to a spokesperson for police to Swedish media.

While the local police department initially spoke of four injured officers and a bystander, it later updated that number, saying that “About ten coworkers” had sustained injuries.
The authorities claimed that some police officers were hit in the head and others suffered from suspected arm fractures. Police described the events in Orebro as a “It is a violent riot.

Similar scenes played out in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, as well as Malmo and Norrkoping.

A number of young people set fires to trash bins, vehicles and tires in Landskrona on Saturday. The local police said that no law enforcement officers were injured in this incident. Officials said that tensions had been gradually decreasing.

According to the Expressen newspaper, Paludan did manage to burn at least one copy of the Koran in Stockholm’s Rinkeby district on Friday. Also, a video of Paludan performing the act was posted to Twitter.

Swedish authorities gave permission for Paludan’s rallies to be held in different parts of the country.

Paludan’s anti-Islam performances and the subsequent rioting came ahead of Easter, and during the month of Ramadan.

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