Riots grip Stockholm suburbs after police shooting

Media caption,
Dozens of cars have been set alight during the riots

Rioters have lit fires and stoned emergency services in the suburbs of Stockholm for the third night in a row after a man was shot dead by police.

Incidents were reported in at least nine suburbs of the Swedish capital and police made eight arrests.

On Sunday night, more than 100 cars were set alight, Swedish media report.

Police in the deprived, largely immigrant suburb of Husby shot a man dead last week after he reportedly threatened to kill them with a machete.

The founder of a local youth group told Swedish media the riots were a reaction to "police brutality".

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told reporters on Tuesday that Sweden would not be intimidated by rioters.


On Tuesday night, cars were torched in western and southern Stockholm, and stones were thrown at police officers and firefighters. One area affected, Rinkeby, saw similar rioting in 2010.

Kjell Lindgren of the Stockholm police told Aftonbladet newspaper that the unrest had spread from the original rioting in Husby.

"It feels like people are taking the opportunity in other areas because of the attention given to Husby," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Reinfeldt said: "We've had two nights with great unrest, damage, and an intimidating atmosphere in Husby and there is a risk it will continue.

"We have groups of young men who think that that they can and should change society with violence. Let's be clear: this is not okay. We cannot be ruled by violence."

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

Mr Reinfeldt said the situation in the district had been improving in recent years, with more jobs being created and a falling crime rate.

'Monkey' slur

However, local people accused the police of racism.

Rami al-Khamisi, a law student and founder of the youth organisation Megafonen, told the Swedish edition of online newspaper The Local that he had been insulted racially by police. Teenagers, he said, had been called "monkeys".

He said the crowd was reacting to a "growing marginalisation and segregation in Sweden over the past 10, 20 years" from both a class and a race perspective.

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask said anyone who felt mistreated by police should file a report.

An investigation is under way into the shooting of a man, 69, last Monday after police were called out to a home in Husby where the man was allegedly brandishing a machete.

Police say they tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with the man after learning a woman was inside the flat along with him. They then stormed the flat.

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