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Swedish police detained 19 pro-Palestinian activists who barricaded themselves inside a university

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish police detained 19 pro-Palestinian activists who barricaded themselves in the country’s main technical education and research university on Friday.

After two hours, police carried out the masked activists from the third floor of a Royal Institute of Technology building in Stockholm. They are likely to be prosecuted for trespassing and disobeying the police, according to police.

International pressure has been mounting on Israel to limit civilian bloodshed in its war against Hamas in Gaza. On Thursday, an Israeli strike on a school sheltering displaced Palestinians in central Gaza killed at least 33 people, including 12 women and children, according to local health officials. The Israeli military said that Hamas militants were operating from within the school.

At around noon, the activists blocked the entrance of a student building at the institute, known by its Swedish acronym KTH, with chairs and tables. Some shouted “Free Palestine” and hung Palestinian flags in the windows. People supporting the activists and a large contingent of law enforcement personnel, including officers with dogs and mounted police, quickly gathered outside KTH, which is located north of downtown Stockholm.

On Instagram, the activists said they occupied the building to pressure KTH to stop collaborating with Israeli universities.

The school describes itself as the largest institution in Sweden for technical education and research and is a leading technical university internationally.

Last week, a handful of pro-Palestinian activists were briefly detained in connection with an unauthorized demonstration outside KTH.

In the past months, law enforcement in the United States and in Europe have forcefully removed encampments and barricades where pro-Palestinian demonstrations have blocked the main entrances and other access points on campuses.

In the Danish capital, activists who had set up tents at a University of Copenhagen campus have taken them down and some moved Wednesday to the City Hall Square where they set up a tent camp, demanding that Denmark boycot Israeli arms sales.

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