Qu'ran burnings spark riots in Sweden - shocking footage shows police attacked and cars set on fire

20 police cars have been set on fire and at least 26 police officers have been injured in the riots

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Violent riots have erupted across Sweden after Danish politician Rasmus Paludan announced plans to carry out Qu'ran burnings in various towns and cities.

Opposing groups of protesters took to the streets and clashed with police in Stockholm, Orebro, Landskrona and Malmo, Sweden's third-largest city, in the past three days.

Police said on its website more than 20 police cars had been set on fire and at least 26 police officers and 14 members of the public have been injured.

Protesters are reported to be throwing stones, attacking police cordons and tearing down riot fences.

Video footage shows the violent riots that have erupted across Sweden
Video footage shows the violent riots that have erupted across Sweden
Video footage shows a car set ablaze during the violent riots that have erupted across Sweden
Video footage shows a car set ablaze during the violent riots that have erupted across Sweden

Police said some of the officers taken to hospital had, among other things, suspected arm fractures.

They said that around 200 people had been involved in the violence, adding they believed it was organised by networks of criminal gangs.

Video footage shows fleets of police vans attending the scene at one of the demonstrations where people can be seen hurling objects at each other and loud sirens are blaring in the background.

Video footage shows police attending the violent riots that have erupted across Sweden
Video footage shows police attending the violent riots that have erupted across Sweden

It shows parked vehicles ablaze with plumes of black smoke billowing from the smashed windows.

Armed police with helmets, can be seen exiting a van, readying to tackle the crowds.

Sweden's national police chief, Anders Thornberg, said he had never seen such violent riots following Sunday's clashes in Norrkoping, south-west of Stockholm.

Muslims consider any intentional damage to the Qu'ran, a central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation from God, deeply offensive.

Saudi Arabia has condemned what it called the "deliberate abuse of the holy Quran by some extremists in Sweden, and provocation and incitement against Muslims".