Hundreds of followers of the influential Iraqi Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada Sadr briefly stormed the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad on Thursday in protest of the burning of a Quran in Sweden.
An Iraqi security official said the Swedish Embassy was evacuated by security forces after the protesters breached the building, raising pictures of Sadr and flags of his militia, the Mahdi Army. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.
Some of the protesters also burned rainbow flags, a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride.
Iraqi officials didn’t make any public statement on the storming of the embassy.
On Wednesday, a man who identified himself in Swedish media as a refugee from Iraq burned a Quran outside a mosque in central Stockholm.
The Iraqi security official said the man was an Iraqi Christian who had previously fought in a Christian unit of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a collection of mostly Shiite militias that were incorporated into the country’s armed forces in 2016.