Hate crime mars Europride launch

Two men in their late 20s were stabbed and robbed of their mobile telephones in the Tantolunden area of Södermalm in Stockholm on Sunday night in an attack police are classifying as a hate crime.

One of the victims was seriously injured in the incident, which took place around midnight.

“They were two homosexuals who were attacked. The assailants uttered slurs which played on their sexuality and that they had just kissed one another. Then they drew knives and demanded valuables,” said Therese Johansson of the Södermalm police.

Shortly after the exchange of words, one of the two victims was stabbed in the stomach and fell to the ground. He was taken in an ambulance to Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, where he was kept for observation early Monday morning.

A large number of police were called in to help in the search for the two perpetrators, who were seen running south in the direction of the Årsta Bay following the attack.

The attack came just as Europride, an event for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, got under way in Stockholm.

The festival’s main gathering area is set to open this week in Tantolunden where the attack took place.