Three arrested over attempted arson on Swedish synagogue

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Three people have been arrested in Sweden's second largest city of Gothenburg after allegedly throwing burning objects at a synagogue.
Police vehicles parked at the site of an attack near a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Dec 9, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Police in Sweden on Sunday (Dec 10) arrested three people over a failed arson attempt at a synagogue in the country's second largest city, Gothenburg.

The three were detained on suspicion of attempted arson, police said in a statement, after a burning object was thrown at the building but did not catch fire late on Saturday night.

Jewish community members told local media the synagogue was attacked by a group of masked men who threw multiple burning objects.

Some 20 youngsters briefly took shelter in a cellar during the attack, they added, but no one was injured.

"Events over the last few days between Trump and Israel and the unrest between Israel and Palestine, those things always lead to heightened threats," Jewish community leader Allan Stutzinsky told the daily GT newspaper.

US President Donald Trump's decision on Wednesday to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital upended decades of American diplomacy, causing a global diplomatic backlash and widespread protests.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told the Swedish news agency TT she was "terribly upset" by the attack.

"There is no place for anti-Semitism in our Swedish society," he said.

Security has been tightened at synagogues throughout the country, according to the news agency.

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