Swedish Embassy in Baghdad Attacked During Controversial Koran Burning Protest

Iraq Expels Swedish Ambassador and Suspends Ericsson’s Work‌ Permit⁣ After Embassy ⁤Attack

Baghdad/Stockholm, ⁢July 20‍ – In response⁤ to a planned burning of the​ Koran⁤ in Stockholm, hundreds of protesters⁢ stormed and set ⁣alight the Swedish embassy⁣ in Baghdad, ⁤leading‌ to Iraq’s ‍decision to expel ⁣the‍ Swedish ambassador and recall its charge d’affaires ⁢in Sweden.​ Additionally, Iraq suspended‌ the working ⁣permit ⁣of Sweden’s Ericsson ⁢on ‌Iraqi ⁤soil, according to Iraq’s state news agency.

The ​planned burning of the Koran was organized by⁣ anti-Islam protesters, ‍including an⁤ Iraqi immigrant to Sweden who ⁤had ‌previously burned the Koran outside a Stockholm mosque⁤ in ⁣June. ‌The protesters had received permission from Swedish police to​ burn the Koran⁤ outside the Iraqi⁣ embassy. ⁤However, instead⁣ of setting it on fire, they kicked and partially‌ destroyed a book they claimed was the⁤ Koran before leaving⁢ the ‍area.

Swedish‌ Foreign Minister ⁢Tobias ⁣Billstrom expressed ⁢relief that embassy​ staff ‌were⁢ safe but ⁤criticized ‌Iraqi authorities for failing ⁤to protect ‌the embassy. ​The ​Iraqi government condemned ‍the burning of the Swedish ‍embassy‌ and declared it a security ‍breach, vowing to protect diplomatic missions. However, they also⁤ warned the⁣ Swedish government that‌ any recurrence ‍of⁣ the incident involving⁣ the burning of‍ the Koran ‌on Swedish​ soil would lead‍ to severing‌ diplomatic relations.

The storming of⁣ the⁢ embassy was‌ strongly condemned by​ the⁣ State Department in⁢ Washington,‌ which also criticized Iraq’s security⁢ forces ​for not preventing‍ the⁢ protesters ⁤from breaching ‍the diplomatic post. The European Union also condemned the attack⁢ and called for swift adoption of necessary security measures⁤ by Iraq to prevent‍ further ⁢incidents.

The demonstration ‍in ⁤Stockholm was organized by supporters​ of Shi’ite ‌cleric⁤ Muqtada al-Sadr, who called for protests⁤ against the ‌second planned‌ Koran burning in Sweden‍ in‍ weeks. ‍Sadr, one of Iraq’s most‍ powerful figures, stood by the embassy⁣ storming and ​criticized⁢ the U.S. for ‌condemning the⁣ burning of the ‌Swedish embassy instead ‍of condemning the burning⁢ of the Koran.

Videos posted on​ the​ Telegram group, One Baghdad, showed protesters gathering ‍around the Swedish embassy and storming the complex, chanting pro-Sadr slogans. Smoke‌ was later‌ seen rising ‍from ‌a ⁤building in the ⁤embassy complex, and protesters ⁣were ⁢seen standing ​on its ‌roof. Security forces deployed inside‍ the ⁣embassy by⁤ dawn, ​and⁢ firefighters ​extinguished ‌stubborn embers.

Sweden has witnessed several Koran burnings in ⁣recent years, mostly carried out ‌by​ far-right and anti-Muslim activists. ⁣Some of these ⁢burnings ‍have‍ led to clashes between ‍police and Muslim‌ protesters. The⁣ burnings have‌ caused outrage in the ⁢Muslim world,‌ and Swedish​ security ​services ⁣have expressed concerns about the country’s safety.

While ⁣the police rejected‌ some applications​ for protests involving Koran burning due⁣ to⁣ security​ concerns, courts have ‍overturned⁤ those ​decisions, citing ‌Sweden’s freedom of speech laws. The⁣ government⁤ is⁣ now ‍considering legal changes ⁣that would allow police ⁢to intervene‌ in public burnings if they pose ‌a ⁤threat⁣ to⁢ Sweden’s ⁣security.

The burnings have⁤ also complicated Sweden’s bid to join ⁤NATO. Although Turkey⁤ has announced ‍its intention⁢ to ratify Sweden’s‌ application, ‍previous⁤ burnings ‌have‌ angered​ Turkish President ‌Tayyip Erdogan. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has criticized​ the burnings, stating that while they ‍are legal, they are​ inappropriate.

Reporting ‌by​ Timour​ Azhari, Anna Ringstrom, and Supantha ‌Mukherjee; Additional reporting ⁣by Johan​ Ahlander and Marie⁤ Mannes in Stockholm, Louise ​Breusch Rasmussen in​ Copenhagen,‍ and Ahmed Rasheed in ​Baghdad; Writing by Timour Azhari and Johan Ahlander; Editing by ‌Tom Hogue/Tom Perry, Lincoln‍ Feast,‌ Bernadette Baum, William Maclean
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⁢ What⁣ were the ⁣consequences faced‌ by⁣ the Swedish ambassador​ and Ericsson following ⁣the attack on the Swedish embassy in Baghdad?

‌ Rewrite:

The ⁤Swedish ⁢ambassador ⁣has⁢ been expelled ⁢from ‍Iraq and⁣ Ericsson’s work permit has ‌been suspended‌ after the ⁣Swedish embassy in Baghdad was attacked ⁣by​ protesters.‍ The cause ‍of⁢ the ‍attack ⁣was a planned ⁢burning ⁢of the ⁣Koran in Stockholm, which angered anti-Islam protesters. The protesters received permission⁤ to burn the Koran outside the Iraqi ⁢embassy, but instead, they damaged a​ book⁣ they⁤ claimed was the Koran.⁢ The⁢ Iraqi government has condemned the attack and ⁢declared it a ⁢security breach, promising​ to⁤ protect diplomatic missions. However, they have warned Sweden that ‍any future ⁣incidents involving the burning ⁢of the‌ Koran⁤ on ​Swedish soil will result in severed ‍diplomatic relations. The ‌US⁣ State‍ Department and the European Union have both condemned​ the attack⁤ and called for⁣ increased⁤ security measures in‍ Iraq ‍to prevent further ⁣incidents. The demonstration in Stockholm ⁣was organized by⁢ supporters of Muqtada ⁢al-Sadr, ‌a prominent​ Shiite cleric in⁣ Iraq, ⁤who criticized the‌ US for ⁢condemning the burning.

2 thoughts on “Swedish Embassy in Baghdad Attacked During Controversial Koran Burning Protest”

  1. This unfortunate incident highlights the volatile nature of religious tensions and the need for peaceful dialogue. Such acts of violence only undermine the pursuit of understanding and respect among different cultures and faiths.

  2. It is disheartening to see such violence unfold at the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad. Let’s remember that peaceful dialogue and understanding are key in overcoming differences and fostering harmonious coexistence.


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