Three people were shot and wounded in violent clashes on Sunday in Norrköping, southwest of Stockholmbetween police and demonstrators protesting against a far-right group that prides itself on burning the Koran, Swedish police said.
“The police fired several warning shots. Three people appear to have been hit by ricochets and are currently being treated in hospital,” police wrote in a statement. The three injured, whose condition is unknown, are also “under arrest, suspected of having committed a crime,” it is specified. This is the second such clash in four days in Norrköping. The first time, the demonstrators had protested against a rally of the “Hardline” anti-immigration and anti-Islam movementDanish-Swedish led Rasmus Paludan. On Sunday they demonstrated again with a view to another rally, which Rasmus Paludan eventually walked out on.
Violence also in Malmö
It is not only in Norrköping where the leader of the “Hard Line” provokes violent demonstrations. Malmö (south), the third largest city in the country, was also the scene from Saturday night to Sunday. Fires broke out in several places overnight, police said in a statement. In particular, garbage cans, a bus and a car were burned, it is specified. About 20 complaints have been filed, in particular for vandalism. Some people were slightly injured, police added.
The incidents erupted after a Saturday rally by the “Hardline” movement. Their meeting had been moved from a Landskrona district to a parking lot in Malmö, the neighboring big city, to avoid overflow, but a car tried to break through the protective barriers. The driver was arrested.
Protests then broke out in different parts of Malmö, with stones and Molotov cocktails being thrown at the police. “It calmed down around 3 am, there were some fires but the violence subsided,” police spokeswoman Kim Hild told SR public radio, adding that no law enforcement personnel were injured.
“Sometimes social anxiety is contagious,” Malmö police chief Petra Stenkula told the press, considering that the events of the previous days could have served as a “trigger”.
The Rasmus Paludan tour that sets fire to gunpowder
Rasmus Paludan is currently organizing a tour of Sweden which has led to several clashes between police and counter-protesters in various cities across the country in recent days. On Thursday and Friday, around 12 police officers were injured in the clashes.
After these events, Iraqi diplomacy announced in a press release that it had summoned the Swedish charge d’affaires on Sunday. She believes that allowing far-right supporters to demonstrate wanting to burn a copy of the Koran is an act “provocative for the sentiments of Muslims and offensive to what is sacred to them.”
And he warns of the “serious repercussions” of this case in “relations between Sweden and Muslims in general, whether in Muslim or Arab countries, or in Muslim communities in Europe.”
Rasmus Paludan has indicated his desire to demonstrate again in two cities in Sweden, but his rallies have not received police approval.