For the first time Denmark deploys troops to guard synagogue and Israeli embassy

The Danish military deployed troops in Copenhagen on Friday to guard the city’s synagogue and the Israeli embassy, hours ahead of the Yom Kippur Jewish holiday.

The deployment was the first by troops in the Danish capital since the Second World War.

The synagogue and the Israeli embassy have been under police protection since two deadly attacks in 2015.

“This is the first time they are used in this type of situation, so it’s unique,” Copenhagen police spokesman Rasmus Bernt Skovsgaard said.

Danish police have protected Jewish institutions in the country since Omar El-Hussein, a Danish citizen of Palestinian origin who swore allegiance to the Islamic State group, opened fire outside the synagogue, killing one Jewish man and wounding two police officers in 2015.

Hours earlier, El-Hussein attacked a cultural centre hosting a free speech and Islam forum attended by the controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who faced death threats for penning a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad.

A filmmaker, Finn Norgaard, was killed in that attack. Police later killed El-Hussein.

The soldiers, who will be deployed until March 2018, are “well-trained and equipped to carry out this type of mission,” Lieutenant Colonel Steen Dalsgaard of the Danish army told AFP.

Police will continue to guard the Jewish museum and the school.

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