Sweden protests spill into unrest over far-right politician's planned Quran burning

People burn branches to block a road during a riot in Norrkoping, Sweden. Credit: Stefan Jerrevang/TT News Agency via AP

Three people have been injured after unrest in Sweden over plans by a far-right politician to burn pages of the Quran.

A crowd of around 150 people clashed with police, who fired warning shots, in the town of Norrkoping after several days of protests.

Local media reported seeing riot police at the scene, carrying a wounded man to an ambulance.

The unrest broke out following Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan’s meetings and planned Quran burnings (the holy book of Islam) in various Swedish cities and towns since Thursday.

Protesters set fire to a police bus in the park Sveaparken in Orebro. Credit: Kicki Nilsson/TT via AP

Mr Paludan and his Stram Kurs party had planned a demonstration in Norrkoping on Sunday but he never showed up in the city, Swedish media reported.

Unrest was also reported in the nearby city of Linkoping.

Mr Paludan said on the party’s Facebook page that he decided to cancel Sunday's demonstrations in the two locations as the Swedish authorities in the region have “shown that they are completely incapable of protecting themselves and me. If I was seriously injured or killed due to the inadequacy of the police authority, then it would be very sad for Swedes, Danes and other northerners.”

Apart from Norrkoping and Linkoping, unrest and violent clashes have been reported in Stockholm, Orebro, Landskrona and Malmo, Sweden third-largest city, in the past three days.

Riot police watch a city bus burn on a street in Malmo, Sweden. Credit: Johan Nilsson/TT via AP

On Friday evening, clashes broke out between opposing groups of protesters in the central city of Orebro before Mr Paludan’s plan to burn a Quran there.

It left 12 police officers injured and four police vehicles ablaze.

In Landskrona, southern Sweden, a few hundred mostly young people threw stones and set cars, tires and dustbins on fire. They also erected a barrier fence that obstructed traffic on Saturday evening.

Similar scenes unfolded in nearby Malmo, where a city bus was set on fire, among other things, late Saturday.

Mr Paludan, a Danish lawyer who also holds Swedish citizenship, set up Stram Kurs, or “Hard Line” in 2017.

The website of the party, which runs on an anti-immigration and anti-Islam agenda, says “Stram Kurs is the most patriotic political party in Denmark.”