Home News The country’s embassy in Iraq burned down

The country’s embassy in Iraq burned down

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The Swedish embassy in Baghdad was set on fire Thursday, July 20, before dawn during a demonstration organized by supporters of the restive religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr, according to an AFP correspondent, ahead of a new event in Sweden in which a copy of the Koran must be burned.

An AFP correspondent pointed out that smoke rose from the Swedish embassy building from the roof of a building in the neighborhood, where Iraqi riot police deployed in large numbers and then chased dozens of demonstrators who remained there.

sequel after announcement

Embassy staff “in protection” For its part, the Swedish Foreign Ministry in Stockholm to Agence France-Presse. We are aware of the situation. Our embassy staff are safe and the ministry is in regular contact with them.”The ministry said in an email.

The AFP photographer indicated that several civil defense trucks were at the site in Baghdad to put out the fire. An AFP photographer said that the security forces chased the demonstrators using water cannons with electric batons to drive them away from the Swedish embassy and force them to disperse. The demonstrators responded by throwing stones.

An AFP correspondent indicated that some demonstrators near the Swedish embassy carried copies of the Qur’an during the night, and others pictures of Muhammad al-Sadr, the influential Shiite cleric and father of Muqtada al-Sadr.

Iraq begins an “urgent investigation” after the fire

The raid on the embassy in Baghdad comes as Swedish police allowed a mini-demonstration in Stockholm Thursday: The organizer, an Iraqi refugee in Sweden named Silwan Momica, confirmed on his Facebook page that he planned to burn a copy of the Koran and the Iraqi flag in front of the Iraqi embassy.

sequel after announcement

“Today we are recruited to denounce the fact of burning the Qur’an, which is nothing but love and faith.”Protester Hassan Ahmed told AFP in Baghdad. “We call on the Swedish government and the Iraqi government to stop this kind of initiative.”Knock.

We must abolish the idea of ​​blasphemy

“We didn’t wait for the morning, we entered at dawn, and we burned the Swedish embassy.”Another protester said before repeating: Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada! », Named after the influential religious leader. The protester, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said so “Sons of the Sadrist Movement” He had acted after the permission given to Sloane Momica again “to pretend to burn the Qur’an” In Sweden.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned on Thursday “in the harshest terms” Burning the Swedish embassy in Baghdad, calling on the security forces to open a “urgent investigation”according to a press release.

“The Iraqi government has instructed the concerned security services to conduct an urgent investigation and take all necessary measures to uncover the circumstances of the incident and identify the perpetrators to hold them accountable according to the law.”according to a press release.

sequel after announcement

International condemnations and diplomatic tensions

Sloane Momica, the organizer of the event scheduled for Thursday, had already burned a few pages of a copy of the Koran on June 28 in front of Stockholm’s largest mosque during the day of Eid al-Adha, a holiday celebrated by Muslims around the world.

This first incident prompted supporters of religious and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr to storm the Swedish embassy in Baghdad on 29 June. They entered and stayed there for about a quarter of an hour before leaving.

Sloan Momica’s gesture in Stockholm sparked a barrage of international condemnation. This kind of work has already been done in Sweden or other European countries, sometimes on the initiative of far-right movements. It has led to demonstrations and diplomatic tensions in the past.

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