Knifeman stabs woman in Sweden’s consulate in Turkey amid flaring tensions over Koran burning stunts that enraged the Muslim world

  • Armed attack occurred outside Swedish honorary consulate in Izmir
  • Incident comes a day after the Koran was burnt outside Swedish parliament 

A knifeman stabbed a woman at Sweden’s honorary consulate in Turkey today, officials and media reports said.

The local governor’s office said the attack was carried out by a ‘mentally disabled’ person with a gun in the Konak district of Izmir at 12.45pm local time.

It comes amid flaring tensions between Sweden and Muslim countries following several protests involving public desecrations of the Koran – including setting pages alight.

Two men set a copy of the holy book alight outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm on Monday in an act similar to others in recent weeks that have drawn condemnation.

The attack in Turkey took place outside Sweden’s honorary consulate, the private broadcaster NTV reported. The wounded woman, who was working as a secretary at the diplomatic mission, was in critical condition, it added.

A woman was seriously injured after being stabbed outside the Swedish consulate in Izmir, Turkey

The incident comes as tensions have flared between Sweden and Turkey in light of recent burnings of the Koran in Stockholm

The armed assailant was detained by authorities and an investigation has been launched, officials said

Turkish authorities detained the assailant with the gun and launched an investigation into the incident, the governor’s office said.

A video showed the victim being carried into an ambulance shortly after the attack which happened on a staircase.

On Monday Salwan Momika and Salwan Najem kicked and stomped on the book before setting it on fire, echoing their previous protest when they did the same thing in June.

According to local press, Swedish police had granted a permit for Monday’s protest, as demonstrators said they wanted to see the Muslim holy book banned in Sweden.

The act incensed the Muslim world, triggering protests with people pictured desecrating the Swedish flag in Palestine and Iraq.

The row has also become a sticking point as Sweden showed interest in joining NATO in light of the war in Ukraine, for which it needs the support of all members.

It continues to struggle to get approval from both Hungary and Muslim majority Turkey, which first said that the burning of an effigy of Erdogan by pro-Kurdish activists in Sweden in January went contravened an agreement between the countries.

The victim was working as a secretary at Sweden’s honorary consulate in Izmir

The Swedish foreign ministry’s press service in Stockholm confirmed the attack in Turkey and said that it was ‘in close contact’ with the general consulate in Istanbul which was in turn in contact with the honorary consulate in Izmir. 

‘Sweden’s general consul will travel to Izmir tomorrow to be informed of the situation and express her condolences.’

The ministry said it would ‘not comment on threat scenarios against the foreign mission or which security measures are being taken, as that could counter the purpose of the measures.’

Honorary consulates represent their nationals’ interests abroad but are not run by professional diplomats.

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