Europe

Two Stockholm schools attacked as Sweden riots continue

  • 24 May 2013
  • From the section Europe

The Stockholm fire brigade has tackled fires at at least two schools as rioting in suburbs of the Swedish capital continued for a fifth night.

Firefighters also dealt with fires in 15 cars, two containers and a fourth building, the brigade said, while police made eight arrests.

But the unrest appeared to be less intense than on other nights.

The nightly riots began in a deprived, largely immigrant suburb where police shot a man dead last week.

They have since spread around the city, with groups of youths stoning police and firefighters summoned to tackle arson attacks.

Rioting on this scale is unprecedented for the Swedish capital and has raised questions about the success of the country's attempts to integrate foreign-born residents, who now make up some 15% of the population.

'A little quieter'

On Sunday, up to 100 vehicles were burnt as youths rioted in Husby, where an elderly man had been killed by police as he allegedly threatened them with a machete.

"In terms of extent, it is a little less, a little quieter," police spokesman Kjell Lindgren told Reuters news agency on Friday.

Police, he said, were seeking reinforcements from other areas to help deal with the rioting, as well as forthcoming football matches and the wedding of Princess Madeleine, third in line to the throne, on 8 June.

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.

In Husby, more than 80% of the 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East and Somalia.

Community activists have accused the police of using racist language during the unrest and prosecutors are investigating complaints. Police have tried to calm the situation by speaking to community leaders, such as in mosques.

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