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Police injured at anti-far right protest at Örebro in central Sweden

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By Euronews  with AFP
Police vans are on fire as counter-protesters react during a counter-protest in the park Sveaparken in Orebro, south-centre Sweden on April 15, 2022.
Police vans are on fire as counter-protesters react during a counter-protest in the park Sveaparken in Orebro, south-centre Sweden on April 15, 2022.   -   Copyright  KICKI NILSSON / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP

Protesters denouncing the intention of a far-right group to burn a Koran at Örebro in central Sweden attacked police on Friday, injuring at least nine members of the security forces according to the authorities. 

Police said a member of the public was also hurt after being hit on the head by a rock, and that some of the police had broken arms and had been hit by stones.

The protest, which local media said was attended by around 200 people, was dispersed early in the evening on Friday.

It was the second day in a row that trouble flared on the sidelines of a rally by the anti-immigration and anti-Islam movement led by Danish-Swedish citizen Rasmus Paludan, who is currently touring Sweden and targeting neighbourhoods with a large Muslim community.

At each gathering, usually only attended by a few sympathisers, he attempts to burn a Koran.

In Örebro, his demonstration was held in a park near the city centre and not in the district initially envisaged.

Thursday, disturbances broke out in late afternoon in Linköping, leaving three police officers wounded.

Sweden's prime minister condemned the violence and the attacks on police.

"In Sweden people are allowed to express their opinions, whether in good or bad taste, it's part of our democracy. No matter what you think, you should never resort to violence. We don't and will never accept it," Magdalena Andersson told the TT news agency.

"This is exactly the kind of violent reaction he (Rasmus Paludan) wants to see. The very purpose is to incite people to oppose each other."

Paludan has provoked other incidents on several occasions in recent years. 

In November 2020, he was arrested in France and then deported. Five other activists were arrested in Belgium shortly afterwards, accused of wanting to "spread hatred" by burning a Koran in Brussels.