Sweden Muslim riots continue after police shooting

Around 200 people hurled rocks at police and set cars ablaze in a Stockholm suburb during a third night of rioting, which residents said was triggered by the fatal police shooting of a man wielding a knife.

Dozens of windows were smashed, 10 cars and several containers were set on fire, and seven police officers were injured on Tuesday.

Police said five people were being held over the rioting, and six others had been released after questioning.

Cars and containers were also set ablaze in Fittja, another Stockholm suburb, although police said it was not clear whether the two events were linked.

The unrest began on Sunday night. A May 13 incident in which police killed a 69-year-old man who had locked himself in an apartment in Husby, west of Stockholm, has been cited by some residents as the trigger of the riots, but bigger frustration among youth has also been cited as the reason.

Around 80 percent of the roughly 11,000 residents of the suburbs are first- or second-generation immigrants.

Police have refused to give the nationality of the victim of the shooting.

Many local residents see the shooting as an example of police brutality, and the violence has stirred debate in Sweden.

Tense atmosphere

The country, known for its strong welfare state and egalitarian society, has had the biggest surge in inequality of any Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country over the past 25 years, according to a recent publication by the global economic watchdog.

Commenting on the violence, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said: "This is not OK. We will not give in to violence.

"We must all help out to regain calm. The residents of Husby need to get their neighbourhood back."

Reinfeldt added that Husby has been going in the right direction during his seven-year tenure, with employment increasing and crime falling.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Husby, said that local authorities are doing their best to assimilate new immigrant arrivals.

"Husby is not some slum that the state has abandoned," he said.

The atmosphere was tense on Tuesday, with residents expressing both anger at police and sadness about the destruction. City workers were seen clearing the debris of a burnt-out container and documenting fire damage.

Reza Al Bazi, 14, and his friend Sebastian Horniak, 15, said they witnessed the violence throughout the night.

Horniak claimed he saw police firing warning shots in the air and calling a woman a "monkey."

"I got upset yesterday because I saw police attack innocent people, they beat a woman with a baton," he said.

Horniak's claims of racist remarks were backed up by the organisation Megafonen, which represents citizens in Stockholm's suburbs.

Prosecutors have launched an internal probe into the shooting. Police say they shot the man in self-defence because he attacked them with a knife when they broke down the door to an apartment where he had locked himself up with a woman.

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Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on June 22, 2013 at 10:12am

A third night of rioting in Stockholm has seen cars and buildings torched - in anger at what rioters say is the poor treatment of immigrants.The unrest began on Sunday, in Husby - a largely immigrant suburb in the north of the city - after police shot dead a 69-year-old man who was allegedly wielding a large knife in the street.
Live for some reaction from Ingrid Carlqvist, the Editor-in-chief of the newspaper Dispatch International. Date: 22/05/2013

Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on May 23, 2013 at 10:43am

 A fourth night of rioting in the Swedish capital saw groups of people, many of them young, setting fire to cars, breaking windows and clashing with authorities.

The violence, which began in the deprived northern suburb of Husby at the weekend, spread to several areas of the city on Wednesday, May 22.

The police made no arrests on Wednesday night, but spokesman Lars Byström said it was time to clamp down:

"We are much more on the offensive now to prevent and stop this, and if that is not enough - arrest people," Byström said.

"We have earlier tried to avoid confrontations but we've realised that we were often being lured into situations where we were met with stones thrown at us," the police spokesman continued.

The authorities said they did not know what was behind the violence - although youth unemployment and resentment among asylum seekers have been suggested as possible triggers.

The unrest began days after police officers shot dead a man in a Husby apartment. The 69-year-old had reportedly threatened to kill them with a machete.

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