For the second night in a row, there were riots in the Rinkeby and Tensta suburbs of Stockholm. About 50 youth set fire to cars, the mentor program at the Rinkeby school, and a police department. Monday night, two young men in their were arrested after fire was set to a bank. Stones were thrown at the police and fire-brigade as well.
The riots started after a group of young people were refused entrance Monday to a graduation school party for the 9th graders. Police showed up and one shot was fired in the air. One person says: "They shot in front of the children, that was when everything started. Since then we started throwing stones."
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According to the residents, many of the rioting youth don't live in the neighborhood, and most of the kids are home, not on the streets.
One of the buildings set aflame belonged to a mentor program, and many people think the wrong building was burned down.
Rioting was reported in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby on Tuesday night as 50-60 youths pelted police with stones and set alight to a building.
"It is a war zone out here, it is raining stones", said one witness who wished to remain anonymous to the Metro daily.
According to another witness a bus trying to enter the deprived area was forced to stop.
"Not a single window on the bus was intact," an eye witness said.
Police were given an indication that something was afoot earlier in the evening as youths gathered on the streets equipping themselves with paving stones.
"They did all they could to attract our attention," said Mats Brännlund at Stockholm police.
But police decided to react first when a building housing a mentor programme for young people in the area, burst into flames.
"We had to help to the emergency services to get through," Brännlund said.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt cautioned that the riots that blighted the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby on Monday and Tuesday needed to be brought quickly under control.
"The consequences risk becoming very serious and could affect the people living in Rinkeby," he told the TT news agency.
Education Minister Jan Björklund and Integration Minister Nyamko Sabuni on Wednesday visited Rinkeby to take stock of the situation.
Up to 100 youths have rioted for two straight nights in the Stockholm suburb, throwing bricks, setting fires and attacking the local police station, police said Wednesday.
"They set fire to a school building ... They tried to set fire to the police station and other buildings and vehicles, but mostly they have thrown rocks and bricks at police and fire fighters," police spokesperson Mats Eriksson told AFP.
"This is an extremely serious situation and we must bring it to an end as soon as possible, otherwise it will keep getting worse," he said mirroring Reinfeldt's words, adding the riots were "an attack on both the society as a whole and on the residents in the area."
"People in Rinkeby feel afraid and threatened. It's an attack on the whole neighborhood," Diana Sundin of the Stockholm police told Expressen.se.
"It's an attack on the whole community out there and those who live there."
What do the people in Rinkeby say?
"They're desperate. they say those who are doing it are destroying things both for themselves and the residents, especially as it's youth from the area."
Are there any external parties involved?
"We haven't gotten any indications of that, it's something that the investigation will show."
Police have decided to call in forces from across the county.
Why wasn't anybody arrested Thursday night or Wednesday morning?
"To arrest a human mass of 50-100 people, we need considerable police resources. Yesterday we were protecting people, protecting the fire-brigade and protecting our partners who were out there speaking to the youth. The arrests can be done later, it was a priority to take care of the community. If you want to arrest anybody during a riot, you arrest the leaders and in a chaotic situation it can be diffiuclt to see who's doing the inciting."
Sources: The Local (English), Expressen (Swedish)
The head of the Rinkeby Academy, the school that got burned down, Stavros Louca, says he's shocked at what has happened.
"It's a mix of emotions," he says. "It's horrific to see dreams destroyed. Two years of dreams. This should be the pride of Rinkeby, instead it's what they decided to burn down. I don't understand it. Everyone here was proud of the academy. Just last Sunday we got a national flag handed to us by the King. But we'll be back, it's not the buildings that are important, but the people behind the project. We're still here", he said.
Source: SR (English)