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Swedish Ministers Condemn Mosque Attack,Call to Stand Up Against Xenophobia

© REUTERS / Pontus Stenberg/TT News Agency Hearts, flowers, teddy bears and other items are placed outside the burned mosque in Eskilstuna, Sweden, December 26, 2014
Hearts, flowers, teddy bears and other items are placed outside the burned mosque in Eskilstuna, Sweden, December 26, 2014 - Sputnik International
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Government officials have urged Swedes to stand up against xenophobia and to protect fundamental human rights after a mosque was set on fire in the Swedish city of Eskilstuna.

Police suspect that a mosque in the Swedish city Eskilstuna was set on fire, after witnesses reported seeing a bottle containing gasoline. Five people have sustained injuries. - Sputnik International
Five Injured as Fire Breaks Out in Swedish Mosque
MOSCOW, December 26 (Sputnik) — Government officials have urged Swedes to stand up against xenophobia and to protect religious freedom after a mosque was set ablaze in the Swedish city of Eskilstuna, local media reported Friday.

"I hope that those responsible are caught. The background is not clear, but it is difficult to believe otherwise than that this gross violence was directed against Muslims as a group and Islam as a religion," Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson was cited as saying by the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

According to Johansson, the Eskilstuna fire is a "cowardly attack against freedom of religion and individuals."

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"We cannot accept this in Sweden. Our country must stand up against xenophobia and protect fundamental human rights," he underlined.

Meanwhile, Swedish Minister for Home Affairs Anders Ygeman condemned the attack as "disgusting and unacceptable."

"We are not doing enough in terms of protection, whether it's a mosque or any other religious community," he told Svenska Dagbladet, adding that while investigators are yet to determine if the attack was a hate crime, "police has confirmed that it was arson."

On Thursday, five people sustained injuries as a major fire broke out at a mosque in Eskilstuna, some 100 km (60 miles) west of Stockholm.

Shortly after the incident, local police informed that the fire was started by an arsonist and investigators would look into witness reports that suspicious objects were thrown into the building moments before the flames broke out.

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