Violent Clashes Across Sweden as Rasmus Paludan Burns Quran in Public; Three Injured

Riots broke out over the Easter weekend in many Swedish cities and towns following planned Quran burnings. A mob of 150 people began pelting stones at the Swedish police and their vehicles, as clashes broke out leaving three people injured in the city of Norrkoping.

The main cause of the riots is said to have been the Danish-Swedish extremist Rasmus Paludan's meetings along with planned Quran burnings in several Swedish cities and towns since Thursday. Paludan is the leader of the far-right political party Hard Line, which he founded in 2017.

Sweden riots
Burning of vehicles by protesters during the riots Twitter

Swedish media reported that Paludan and his Stram Kurs party had schemed out a protest in Norrkoping on Sunday but he was a no show. According to BBC, Paludan has declared that he would carry out the Quran burning again.

Referring to his absence at the Sunday demonstrations, the leader of Hard Line said on the party's Facebook page that he decided to cancel the protests in the two locations as the Swedish authorities in the region have "shown that they are completely incapable of protecting themselves and me. If I was seriously injured or killed due to the inadequacy of the police authority, then it would be very sad for Swedes, Danes and other northerners."

The police were attacked before the planned right-wing extremist protests happened in a few places and violence was also reported in the neighboring city of Linkoping. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson strongly condemned the violence.

Rasmus Paludan
Danish anti-Islam politician Rasmus Paludan burning a quran at a rally in Nørrebro, in 2019 Wikimedia Commons

"All three injured are arrested on suspicion of crime," police said, adding that none of them had serious injuries and were hospitalized in Norrkoping. The suspects were "hit by ricochets", when the Swedish officials retaliated against the protesters hurling stones at them by firing warning shots, police officials added.

Apart from Norrkoping and Linkoping, violent clashes were also reported in Stockholm, Orebro, Landskrona and Malmo, Sweden third-largest city, in the past three days. The attack in Orebro even resulted in a dozen police officers injured and their vehicles set on fire.

@dabitch/ Twitter