Valborg violence mars celebrations

In most areas across Sweden the traditionally raucous Valborg celebrations were peaceful, but a series of assaults cast a shadow over the evening.

Three people were injured in a stabbing during a fight between a group of young people in Blomstermåla, south west of Mönterås. One of them was knifed in the chest. According to the first details from the scene, the three wounded were skinheads who were fighting with youngsters with immigrant backgrounds.

In Gribbylund in Täby, north of Stockholm, two people were arrested after a fight between two youth gangs, in which iron rods were used as weapons. One person was taken to hospital and a 20 year old man is suspected of attempted manslaughter after being accused of using a small axe.

The incident appears to have been a row between a gang of Swedes and a gang with immigrant backgrounds who have previously been in conflict with each other, said Elisabeth Wernsten at Täby police.

At Brommaplan in west Stockholm, three boys in their late teens were arrested on suspicion of serious assault after attacking several people with a hammer.

Five or six people are thought to have been beaten up and two were taken to hospital.

In Sölvesborg in Blekinge two men were arrested on suspicion of assault after beating and kicking a woman so badly that she was taken to hospital. The attack took place in a barracks which was being used as temporary accommodation for Polish workers.

The Valborg festivities nevertheless were considered to be rather peaceful across most of the country.

“Thanks to the weather it has been relatively calm,” said Jan Strannegård at västra Götaland police.

Rain dampened the festivities in Gothenburg. Norbotten revellers enjoyed glorious sunshine but even that did not prompt trouble.

“Only three cases of drunk and disorderly behaviour in the whole county, so we’re satisfied,” said Ulf Suup at Norrbotten police on Monday morning.

In several parts of Sweden the police had worked to prevent the supply of alcohol to young people. In Östersund 100 litres of spirits destined for underage drinkers was seized by police before a celebration.

In Lund police also concentrated their resources on stopping youth boozing, while in Uppsala, another major student town, police took in 57 people for drunkenness between Sunday morning and Monday morning.

Of those, twelve were under the age of 18 and the youngest was a 13 year old girl.

TT/The Local