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Somali community under threat by local gang

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14:27 CEST+02:00
A Somali community in Foresrum, in southern Sweden, is being terrorized by a local gang to such an extent that the local Somali association has urged all its members to move away.

“We escaped from a country at war to be exposed to this in peaceful Sweden,” said Abdula Abdi Dhinbil to national broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT).

According to SVT, one year ago there were 160 Somalis living in Forserum, near Jönköping in southern Sweden. Today, that number has dwindled to 95.

The reason that so many of the Somalis in Forserum are choosing to move is that they feel under threat from a local gang.

The group's windows have been smashed for the third weekend in a row, Somalis resident in the area have been beaten up and many have been subjected to racist remarks.

According to daily Svenska Dagbladet, the perpetrators are a small group of younger males between 17 and 22, making the community feel unsafe.

According to the local Somali association, the police are not doing enough to come to terms with the harassment.

Somali children in the Nässjö area have been kept home from school since yesterday, as parents are too worried to let them out on their own.

According to one school principal, Annika Bertling, the local community had been unaware of how serious the harassment of the Somalis had become until last Thursday when a church in the area held a meeting to address the problem.

“They were worried about how they are being treated in society in general,“said Bertling to SvD, stressing that there are no reports of harassment reported in school.

According to the paper, police and local politicians held a crisis meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Anders Karlsson, mayor of Nässjö, promised on Wednesday that no one should feel unsafe on the way to or from school.

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"If they don't feel safe it is our duty to make them feel safe again. This could mean being accompanied to school. If that is what is needed we shall do it," said Karlsson to SvD.

The Local/rm

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