Explosion rocks Jewish community center in Malmo

No injuries reported in Sweden’s third-largest city; two suspects arrested

An explosive device detonated in front of a Jewish community center in Malmo, Sweden, early Friday morning. There were no injuries reported.

The blast blew out some windows and caused damage to the front door of the building. The explosion was heard several blocks away, according to Swedish media outlet Varlden Idag.

Two suspects were arrested following the explosion, but initial reports did not reveal their identities or any possible motives.

Malmo, home to approximately 700 Jews, is Sweden’s third-largest city and the site of some of the country’s highest profile attacks on Jews in recent years.

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Frustration has been building in Malmo since 2009, when Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza sparked anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demonstrations in the city, leaving Jews with the feeling that they were under threat and without sufficient protection from the authorities.

When Israeli tennis players showed up that year to compete in the Davis Cup, which Malmo was hosting, anti-Israel protests erupted and quickly morphed into violent, anti-Semitic riots.

Some 50 to 100 anti-Semitic incidents occur in the city annually, according to police and community statistics. Many of the perpetrators are first- and second-generation Muslim immigrants, who make up 30 to 40 percent of Malmo’s population of 300,000.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center told The Times of Israel that it had previously issued a travel advisory for Jews thinking of visiting Malmo. Representatives of the Jewish human rights organization recently traveled to the city and confronted the mayor and police over their refusal to properly protect the local rabbi and Jewish community from harassment.

JTA contributed to this report.

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