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26 arrested after violent Sweden protests

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Sweden has arrested 26 people after weekend clashes between police and protesters rallying against plans by a far-right group to burn copies of religious texts, police said yesterday.

Eight people were arrested in the city of Norrkoping and 18 people were detained in the neighbouring city of Linkoping, police said in a statement.

On Sunday, clashes erupted in both cities for the second time in four days over rallies by anti-immigration group Hard Line, led by the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan.

Paludan, a lawyer and a YouTuber who intends to stand in Swedish legislative elections in September but does not yet have the necessary number of signatures to secure his candidature, is currently on a “tour” of Sweden.

Hard Line’s rallies 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.

A protester kicks a tear gas canister at Rosengard in Malmo. PHOTO: AFP