Swedish police said Monday that the riots that have shaken several cities and towns in the Nordic country are extremely serious

crimes against society and suspect some protesters are linked to criminal gangs that intentionally target police.

Sweden, a nation of 10 million, has seen unrest, scuffles, arson and violence since

Thursday that has left some police officers and protesters injured.

It was triggered by Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan's meetings and planned Quran burnings across the country.

"We suspect that those involved (in the riots) have links to criminal gangs,"

National Police Commissioner Anders Thornberg told a news conference on Monday,

adding some of those "criminal individuals" are known to police.

"I have been in touch with the public prosecutor to prosecute these individuals."

Sweden's National Police Commander Jonas Hysing said Monday that 26 police and 14 individuals

Sweden links riots to criminal gangs