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Thousands rally against street violence

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Thousands rally against street violence
18:20 CEST+02:00
Thousands of people gathered at Kungsträdgården in Stockholm on Friday afternoon to join in a demonstration against street violence. The demonstration was arranged following a brutal assault last weekend that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old boy.

The boy's classmates were among the large crowd to have gathered in the city square.

"We are here because we want to put a stop to youth violence. I am thinking of his family and how they must be feeling," Richard Serrante told the TT news agency.

The initiative for the demonstration came from 15-year-old Anton Abele, who attended the same party last weekend as the victim of the attack. Abele received an enormous response to a group he created on community website Facebook in response to the killing. By Friday, some 80,000 people had signed up to the group entitled 'Protect us from street violence' ('Bevara oss från gatuvåldet').

Simultaneous demonstrations held in Gothenburg and Malmö are reported to have been attended by hundreds of protesters.

The fatal attack in Stockholm's Kungsholmen district has provoked a powerful reaction among the general public.

The boys suspected of carrying out the attacks have had their identities revealed and pictures of them posted to the internet.

The family of one of the suspects has been forced into hiding after they were subjected to a number of threats.

Police commissioner Lars Ingvar Karlsson confirmed that police had received reports of illegal threats.

"There have been a lot of threats and they are not directed at a single family," he said.

Police are currently considering whether to offer additional protection to the families in question.

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