The diplomatic mission in Baghdad was briefly overrun by an indignant crowd following a provocative demonstration in Sweden’s capital
Dozens of individuals stormed the Swedish embassy to Iraq on Thursday, indignant over a Koran-burning protest in Stockholm two days earlier, staged amid celebration of the Islamic vacation of Eid al-Adha. The occasion had beforehand been sanctioned by native authorities.
The demonstration in Baghdad noticed a crowd collect in entrance of the diplomatic mission, following requires motion by influential Iraqi Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. The protesters distributed leaflets studying in each Arabic and English: “Our structure is the Koran. Our chief is al-Sadr,” AFP reported, citing its photographer on the scene.
These gathered additionally spray painted an inscription studying: “Sure to the Koran” on the embassy gates earlier than breaking in and briefly overrunning the ability. The group then left peacefully after about quarter-hour, as quickly as safety forces arrived, in line with AFP.
The Swedish International Ministry informed broadcaster SVT that the embassy workers was “secure” and the ministry was involved with them. The outlet mentioned the diplomats managed to go away the premises and get to security.
On Wednesday, Al Sadr referred to as for the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador, accusing him of representing a nation “hostile to Islam” and supporting “immorality.” He demanded that the particular person behind the Stockholm stunt, who has been recognized by Swedish authorities as Iraqi citizen Salwan Momika, be stripped of his citizenship and despatched to Baghdad for trial.
The chief choose of the Iraqi Supreme Court docket, Faiq Zaidan, has additionally reportedly referred to as on Sweden to extradite Momika. The Iraqi authorities additionally condemned the motion, calling it “racist” and saying it promoted “violence and hatred.”
In response to SVT, the burning episode has sparked “sharp reactions” in Jordan, Iran, and Morocco, with the latter even recalling its ambassador within the wake of the incident.
Russia additionally condemned the Stockholm demonstration. The Russian State Duma declared that the Swedish authorities have been completely conscious that permitting anti-Islam activists to hold out the Koran burning would result in non secular and ethnic tensions. President Vladimir Putin has referred to as it a criminal offense to intentionally offend non secular beliefs.
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