Protesters angered by the burning of copies of the Quran in Sweden stormed the Swedish embassy in central Baghdad, scaling the walls of the compound and setting it on fire.
The protesters scaled the building’s walls early Thursday morning and set it on fire while chanting “Yes, yes to the Quaran,” as revealed via online videos.
The protests happened weeks after Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi who fled to Sweden several years ago, tore up and set pages of the Islamic holy book on fire as Muslims celebrated the Eid al-Adha holiday in June.
Momika’s actions drew widespread condemnations from many countries, with Muqtada Sadr, an influential Shi’ite cleric in Iraq, calling for protests against Sweden and the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador.
Two major protests took place outside the Swedish embassy in Baghdad in the aftermath of that Quran burning, with protesters breaching the embassy grounds on one occasion.
On Wednesday, the Swedish police granted an application for a “public meeting” to two people outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm on Thursday.
Although the police did not disclose what the protesters were planning, Swedish media reported that both persons, including Momika, planned to burn the Quran and the Iraqi flag at the public meeting.
Reacting to the latest protest, the Swedish foreign ministry said all Baghdad embassy staff were safe, and condemned the attack.
Iraq’s foreign ministry also frowned on the Swedish embassy attack, promising to bring the perpetrators to justice.