Stockholm youth riots spread

2013-05-23 16:59
A burning car set on fire in the Stockholm suburb of Kista after youths rioted in several different suburbs around Stockholm. (Scanipx Sweden, Fredrik Sandberg/ AP)

A burning car set on fire in the Stockholm suburb of Kista after youths rioted in several different suburbs around Stockholm. (Scanipx Sweden, Fredrik Sandberg/ AP)

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Stockholm - Youths threw stones at Swedish firefighters and police officers overnight on Thursday as a fourth consecutive night of unrest swept into the southern suburbs of the capital, Stockholm.

Firefighters responded to about 80 fires in the greater Stockholm area, including about two dozen cars set ablaze.

A restaurant in Skogas, south of Stockholm, suffered severe damage after firefighters were forced to wait for police to disperse stone throwing rioters before they could tackle the blaze, police spokesperson Kjell Lindgren said.

A 16-year-old girl was detained on suspicion of preparing to carry out an arson attack. She was taken to her parents after questioning and flammable material had been seized, he added.

Two police officers sustained minor injuries overnight but did not need hospital treatment.

Windows in a shopping centre in another southern suburb were smashed by about 30 youths, and two police stations were vandalised.

Riots sparked by 69-year-old's killing by police

The initial focal point of the unrest, Husby in northern Stockholm, was described as calmer overnight.

Scores of residents and members of civil society groups gathered to walk around the district. Their presence likely contributed the relative peace, Lindgren said, although several cars were torched.

A police shooting on 13 May of a 69-year-old man in Husby, where 80% of the 12 000 inhabitants are immigrants and unemployment is high, was cited as a factor that triggered the unrest earlier this week.

The rioting showed the frustration among groups that feel marginalised or lack hope, said researchers and representatives of groups such as Megafonen, an organisation that works with young people in deprived areas.

The risk of riots is greater in segregated areas where many people live on benefits, Stockholm University researcher Eva Andersson told dpa.

"This is not unique for Sweden, French and British studies show similar trends. In common there is a lack of resources, a sense of discontent and being marginalised," Andersson, associated professor of human geography, said.

Read more on:    sweden

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