Riots in Sweden after Quran burning by far-right activists

U.S. & World

Riot police on the scene as smoke billows from burning tires and fireworks, as a few hundred protesters riot in the Rosengard neighbourhood of Malmo, Sweden, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. Far-right activists burned a Quran in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, sparking riots and unrest after more than 300 people gathered to protest, police said Saturday. Rioters set fires and threw objects at police and rescue services Friday night, slightly injuring several police officers and leading to the detention of about 15 people. (TT News Agency via AP)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Far-right activists burned a Quran in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, sparking riots and unrest after more than 300 people gathered to protest, police said Saturday.

Rioters set fires and threw objects at police and rescue services Friday night, slightly injuring several police officers and leading to the detention of about 15 people.

The violence followed the burning Friday afternoon of a Quran, near a predominantly migrant neighborhood, that was carried out by far-right activists and filmed and posted online, according to the TT news agency.

Later, three people were arrested on suspicion of inciting hatred against an ethnic group after kicking the Muslim holy book.

The head of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations expressed “unequivocal condemnation of the burning of the Quran by far-right extremists … as despicable and totally unacceptable,” his spokeswoman said.

Miguel Moratinos called on religious leaders of all faiths to denounce all violence based on religious belief, spokeswoman Nihal Saad said, adding that “such deplorable acts perpetrated by hate-mongers … and other radical groups incite violence and tear apart the fabric of our communities” which are an affront to U.N. values and the alliance which works to strengthen inter-culutral and inter-religious dialogue.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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