The police in Sweden have arrested 26 people after weekend clashes with protesters who rallied against plans by a far-right group to burn copies of the Koran.
The police said on Monday that eight people were arrested in the city of Norrkoping and 18 people were detained in the neighboring city of Linkoping.
Clashes had erupted in both cities on Sunday for the second time in four days over rallies by anti-immigration and anti-Islam group hard line, led by the Danish-Swedish politician, Rasmus Paludan.
Police said officers wounded three people after firing warning shots during Sunday’s clashes.
Paludan, a lawyer and a YouTuber who intended to stand in Swedish legislative elections in September but lacked the necessary number of signatures to secure his candidature, was currently on a tour of Sweden.
The 40-year-old was visiting neighborhoods with large Muslim populations where he wanted to burn copies of the Muslim holy book Koran as Muslims observed the holy month of Ramadan.
In Malmo, where he burned a Koran on Saturday, fire erupted in a school overnight, officials said.
Hard Line’s rallies had sparked several clashes between the police and counter-protesters across the Scandinavian country in recent days.
On Thursday and Friday, around 12 police officers were injured in the clashes.
In the wake of the string of incidents, Iraq’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that it had summoned the Swedish chargé d’affaires in Baghdad.
It warned that the affair could have “serious repercussions” on relations between Sweden and Muslims in general, both Muslim and Arab countries, and Muslim communities in Europe.