Fifth Night Of Rioting In Sweden


Rioters took to the streets of Sweden for the fifth night in a row on Thursday, torching cars, shops, schools and a police station.

Firefighters were dispatched to 70 different location across Stockholm in response to blazes started by groups of youths.

Two schools, including a Montessori school, were set on fire in two suburbs of the Swedish capital and up to 15 car fires were reported at locations across the city and beyond.

The unrest began on Sunday night after the fatal shooting of a 69-year-old man in an area with a high population of immigrants.

The man was said to have been wielding a machete and was shot by police who claimed they were acting in self defence.

Local activists claimed the incident sparked anger among local mostly immigrant youths who say they suffer police brutality.

During the first night of rioting, youths claimed that police called them “tramps, monkeys and negroes”.

Wednesday night was the peak when firefighters had to deal with fires at 90 locations across Stockholm.

Last night firefighters had to put out fires at schools in Tensta and Kista, and tackled burned-out cars in Solluntuna, Jordbro, Norsborg and Rinkby.

A police station and several shops were set on fire in Aelvsjoe.

Map of greater Stockholm showing locations of riots on fifth night
Map of greater Stockholm showing locations of riots on fifth night

And police in Soedertaelje, a town south of Stockholm, said rioters threw stones at them as they responded to reports of cars set alight.

Police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said the riots had “decreased in intensity”.

He said 13 people were arrested on Thursday night, between the ages of 17 and 26, but no injuries were reported.

The riots have sparked a debate about the assimilation of immigrants, who make up about 15% of the population.

Analysts say many of the immigrants who have arrived due to the country’s generous refugee policy struggle to learn the language and find employment.

Stockholm county police chief Mats Loefving said the rioters were local youths both with and without criminal records.

“In the midst of all this there is a small group of professional criminals, who are taking advantage of the situation to commit crimes like this,” he told Swedish Radio.

Ulf Johansson, deputy police chief for Stockholm county, said on Thursday: “Every injured person is a tragedy, every torched car is a failure for society … but Stockholm is not burning.

“Let’s have a level-headed view of the situation.”

In the past decade Sweden has welcomed hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and the Balkans, among others.

Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag has attributed the current violence to high unemployment and social exclusion in Sweden’s immigrant-dominated areas.



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