Baghdad (Web Desk): Scores of protesters on early Thursday stormed the Swedish embassy in central Baghdad, scaling the walls of the compound and setting it on fire.
Thursday's demonstration was called by supporters of cleric Muqtada Sadr to protest the second planned burning of copies of the Quran in Sweden in weeks.
All Baghdad embassy staff were safe, the Swedish foreign ministry press office said in a statement, condemning the attack and highlighting the need for Iraqi authorities to protect diplomatic missions.
Iraq’s foreign ministry also strongly condemned the attack.
“The Iraqi government has instructed the competent security authorities to conduct an urgent investigation and take the necessary security measures in order to uncover the circumstances of the incident and identify the perpetrators of this act and hold them accountable according to the law,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
However, a statement later on Thursday from the government said that it would sever diplomatic ties with Sweden if a second Quran burning takes place in the country.
“The Iraqi government has informed the Swedish government through diplomatic channels that any recurrence of the incident involving the burning of the Holy Quran on Swedish soil would necessitate severing diplomatic relations,” the statement from the prime minister’s office said.