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Clashes Erupt in Sweden’s Third Largest City After Another Quran Burning and at Least 3 are Detained

A person runs past a burning car and a banner reading, "No to Quran burning. Don't abuse freedom of expression" placed on the roundabout, at Ramel väg, in Malmo, Sweden, early Monday Sept. 4, 2023. (Johan Nilsson /TT News Agency via AP)
A person runs past a burning car and a banner reading, “No to Quran burning. Don’t abuse freedom of expression” placed on the roundabout, at Ramel väg, in Malmo, Sweden, early Monday Sept. 4, 2023. (Johan Nilsson /TT News Agency via AP)

Clashes erupted in an immigrant neighborhood in Sweden’s third largest city after an anti-Muslim protester set fire to a copy of the Quran, police said Monday.

Police in Malmo said they were pelted with rocks and dozens of cars were set on fire, including in an underground garage, and described the events that started Sunday and lasted overnight as “a violent riot.”

The clashes started after an anti-Islam activist, Salwan Momika, burned a copy of the Quran on Sunday and an angry mob tried to stop him, police said. At least three people were detained, they said.

Early Monday, a crowd of mainly young people set fire to tires and debris and some threw electric scooters, bicycles and barriers in Malmo’s Rosengard neighborhood, which has seen similar clashes in the past. Several banners condemned the Quran burning.

“I understand that a public gathering like this arouses strong emotions, but we cannot tolerate disturbances and violent expressions like those we saw on Sunday afternoon,” senior police officer Petra Stenkula said.

Related Story: Sweden’s NATO Bid at Risk After Protester Burns Quran in Front of Stockholm Mosque on Eid Holiday

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