Three arrested for Molotov cocktail attack on Swedish synagogue

By Daniel Uria  |  Dec. 10, 2017 at 3:41 PM
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Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Police arrested three people on Sunday morning in connection to a Molotov cocktail attack on a synagogue in Sweden Saturday night.

Police Region West officer Peter Nordengard said the three individuals were suspected of attempted arson after a group of masked individuals hurled Molotov cocktails at a community center attached to a synagogue in Gothenburg, as it hosted a youth event with as many as 30 attendees.

"There was a strong fire in the yard, but then it rained and the flames went out quickly," said Allan Stutzinsky, a spokesman for Gothenburg's Jewish community.

The building didn't catch fire and no one was injured, as police said people fled to safety in the basement.

Police spokeswoman Ulla Brehm said the incident may be considered a hate crime because violence against Jews in Sweden has increased since U.S. President Donald Trump publicly recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last week.

"It might become a hate crime. The crime is attempted arson. But that may change during the investigation," Brehm said.

The attack in Gothenburg follows demonstrations in Malmo and Stockholm, in which people shouted slogans about shooting and killing Jews.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven condemned the anti-Semitic incidents following the attack on Saturday night.

"I am terribly upset by the attack on the synagogue in Gothenburg yesterday, and that violence against Jews was incited at a demonstration in Malmo. There is no place for anti-Semitism in Swedish society. Those behind it must be made responsible. All democratic forces must now work together for a tolerant and open society where everyone feels safe," Lofven said.

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