Home SECURITY & DEFENCE Iraq expels Sweden’s ambassador, embassy stormed in protest over planned Koran burning

Iraq expels Sweden’s ambassador, embassy stormed in protest over planned Koran burning

Iraq expelled Swedish ambassador Jessica Svärdström on Thursday in protest at a planned burning of the Koran in Stockholm that had prompted hundreds of protesters to storm Sweden’s embassy in Iraq, scaling the walls of the complex and torching the building.

by gary cartwright
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An Iraqi government statement said Baghdad had also recalled its charge d’affaires in Sweden, and Iraq’s state news agency reported that Iraq had suspended the working permit of Swedish telecom company Ericsson on Iraqi soil.

Ambassador Jessica Svärdström.

Anti-Islam protesters, one of whom has been named as Salwan Momika, an Iraqi refugee in Sweden who burned a copy of the Koran outside a Stockholm mosque in June, had applied for and received permission from Swedish police to burn the Koran outside the Iraqi embassy on Thursday.

In the event, the protesters kicked and partially destroyed a book they said was the Koran but left the area after one hour without setting it alight.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said embassy staff were safe but Iraqi authorities had failed in their responsibility to protect the embassy.

The United States strongly condemned the attack and said it was “unacceptable” that Iraqi security forces did little to protect the mission.

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