Swedish Embassy in Baghdad Set Ablaze Amidst Quran Burning Controversy, Iraqi Government Condemns

Swedish Embassy in Baghdad Set Ablaze Amidst Quran Burning Controversy, Iraqi Government Condemns

Shafaq News/ The Swedish embassy in Baghdad was set on fire during a dawn demonstration organized by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist movement, on Thursday.

The protests occurred on the eve of a planned gathering in front of the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, where an organizer intends to burn a copy of the Quran and the Iraqi flag.

The attack on the Swedish embassy follows the controversial decision by Swedish authorities to permit a small gathering outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, further fueling tensions among the demonstrators.

The organizer behind the Quran burning, Salwan Momika, an Iraqi refugee in Sweden, previously burned pages of the Quran in front of Stockholm's most prominent mosque during Eid al-Adha on June 28.

Responding to storming the Swedish embassy, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned "in the strongest terms" the burning of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden in Baghdad.

The ministry called for an "urgent investigation" to uncover the circumstances of the incident and hold the perpetrators accountable under the law.

"The Iraqi government has instructed the competent security authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and take necessary security measures to identify the culprits and ensure they face legal consequences," the statement read.

In the wake of the attack on the Swedish embassy, the Swedish Foreign Ministry expressed strong disapproval, stating, "We condemn all attacks on diplomats and staff of international organizations. All embassy employees in Baghdad are safe, and the ministry is in regular contact with them."

The ministry also highlighted that attacks on embassies and diplomats "violate the Vienna Convention, emphasizing that the responsibility to protect diplomatic missions and personnel lies with the Iraqi authorities."

Amidst the escalating situation, a source told Shafaq News Agency that the Iraqi security authorities imposed strict security measures around the Swedish embassy in Baghdad after it was set ablaze by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr. The authorities extinguished the fire and evacuated the embassy staff to a safe location without any reported injuries.

Later this morning, the Iraqi security forces reopened the Al-Jumhuriya and Al-Shuhada bridges.

However, another source told our Agency that Iraqi security forces detained several journalists covering the incident during the protests and storming of the embassy. According to a security source, the journalists working for Western media outlets were transferred to a security center without further details disclosed.

As the situation unfolded, approximately ten injuries were recorded among security forces, journalists, and protesters due to stone-throwing incidents during the dawn demonstrations. The source said.

The international community closely monitors developments, with concerns over potential further violence and diplomatic repercussions.

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon