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Protesters Try to Storm Baghdad’s Green Zone Over the Burning of Quran and Iraqi Flag in Denmark

Tensions flared again in Iraq on Saturday over a series of recent protests in Europe involving the desecration of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, which sparked a debate over the balance between freedom of speech and religious sensitivities.

Hundreds of protesters attempted to storm Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone that houses foreign embassies and the seat of Iraq’s government early on Saturday, following reports that an ultranationalist group burned a copy of the Quran in front of the Iraqi Embassy in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, the previous day.

The protest came two days after people angered by the planned burning of the Islamic holy book in Sweden stormed the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad.

Security forces on Saturday pushed back the protesters, who blocked the Jumhuriya bridge leading to the Green Zone, preventing them from reaching the Danish Embassy.

Elsewhere in Iraq, protesters burned three caravans belonging to a demining project run by the Danish Refugee Council in the city of Basra in the south, local police said in a statement. The fire was extinguished by civil defense responders, and there were “no human casualties, only material losses,” the statement said.

Related Story: Iraqi PM Expels Swedish Ambassador After Protesters Storm Embassy Over Koran Burnings

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