A person reads the Koran on the street during a rally against Sweden in Karachi, Pakistan, 09 July 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/SHAHZAIB AKBER

Iraqi protesters torch Swedish embassy in Baghdad

International Desk, July 20 (EFE).- A group of protesters set fire to the Swedish embassy in Baghdad in the early hours of Thursday following week-long demonstrations against the burning of a Koran in the European country.

According to social media reports, protesters entered the Iraqi capital’s Green Zone, where foreign embassies are located, and threw torches inside the Swedish embassy, in response to the burning of the Muslim holy book by radical elements outside a Stockholm mosque in late June.

Local police have had to resort to using water cannons to contain groups of people surrounding the Swedish embassy in Baghdad.

The Swedish authorities have granted a new permit for a protest outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm on Thursday, where another Koran is expected to be burned.

In a phone call on Wednesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein called on his Swedish counterpart, Mr. Tobias Billström, “to prevent the recurrence of these offensive and repeated acts against Islam and the Holy Qur’an.”

For his part, the Swedish foreign minister expressed his country’s condemnation of this act, while reiterating his government’s commitment to the protection of the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, according to a readout of the call posted by the Iraqi ministry on its website. EFE