Iraqis injured in protest against Sweden after Koran burning

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An Iraqi police officer and seven protesters were injured Monday at a rally outside the Swedish embassy in Baghdad against the burning of a Quran in Stockholm, a security source said.

Swedish-Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan set fire to a copy of the Islamic holy book in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital on Saturday.

Iraqi police confronted more than 400 protesters outside the embassy on Monday when they got too close to the building, an Iraqi interior ministry official said.

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At the rally, organized by pro-Iranian groups, protesters chanted: “No to Sweden, yes to the Koran”. When police pushed back the demonstrators, violence erupted.

“Protesters threw stones and the police used their batons,” the interior ministry official said, adding that seven protesters and a police officer were injured.

The protesters then dispersed, an TBEN photographer said.

Many Muslim countries have said they were outraged by the burning of the Quran, which Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemned as “deeply disrespectful”.

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Paludan’s actions in Stockholm have sparked tensions with Turkey as Sweden takes Ankara to court over its bid to join NATO.

In neighboring Syria, in the northern town of Al-Bab, which is under the control of Turkish soldiers, several hundred people also demonstrated on Monday for the same reason, setting fire to the Swedish flag and chanting anti-Swedish slogans.

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