(CNN) — Hundreds of protesters stormed the main gates of the Swedish Embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad early Thursday in response to a decision by Stockholm police to allow a protest where they allegedly intended to burn again the holy Muslim book, the Koran.
Videos circulating on social media show large numbers of protesters inside the embassy perimeter, as well as images of black smoke and fire emerging from the building.
CNN has reached out to authorities in Iraq and Sweden for comment.
The protest, scheduled for Thursday, will come just weeks after a man set fire to pages of the Koran outside Stockholm’s main mosque, sparking outrage and widespread condemnation around the world.
According to AFP, Swedish police said on Wednesday they had granted a permit for a protest to take place outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, and media reported that organizers planned to burn the Muslim holy book. . Stockholm police told AFP they had authorized a “public meeting” outside the Iraqi embassy but did not wish to comment further on what protesters were planning.
According to AFP, the Swedish police have stressed that they only grant permits to people to hold public meetings and not for activities carried out during them.
Eyewitnesses told CNN that protesters withdrew from the perimeter of the Swedish embassy after setting fire to part of it “after delivering their message of protest against the act of burning God’s holy book.” .
Iraq condemns the attack and opens an investigation
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry issued a conviction on Thursday (local time) for the burning of the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad, it said in a statement.
The incident is part of a worrying series of attacks on diplomatic missions, which pose a major security threat, the ministry added.
He added that the Iraqi government had taken prompt action, ordering the competent security authorities to launch an urgent investigation, “measures to find out the circumstances of the incident and identify the perpetrators of this act and arrest those responsible in accordance with the law”.
In late June, a man burned a copy of Islam’s holy book outside a Stockholm mosque, prompting massive condemnation across the Muslim world. Footage from the event showed he was the only person, other than his translator, at the protest which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha, one of the most important dates on the calendar. Islamic.