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Demonstrators honour Stockholm's 'Romario'

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Demonstrators honour Stockholm's 'Romario'
10:35 CET+01:00
A large crowd gathered in central Stockholm on Sunday for a demonstration in honour of Ahmed "Romario" Ibrahim Ali, a 23-year-old footballer stabbed to death in a Stockholm suburb last month.

Thousands of white balloons bearing the symbol of a heart inserted with the number ten were released into the grey skies above Sergels Torg as part an emotional plea to bring an end to violence on the streets of the capital.

Ibrahim Ali was a talented footballer who played for Djibouti's national side. In the predominantly immigrant suburb of Husby, he was known affectionately as “Romario” in honour of the Brazilian star, and wore the number ten jersey for local club Atletico Husby.

"The heart with the ten will be a symbol in the battle for non-violence," Ibrahim Ali's close friend Faizal Luttamaguzi told Svenska Dagbladet.

Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin and Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth were among the estimated 600 people assembled in the central square, as a range of speakers addressed the crowd and spoke warmly of the 23-year-old victim.

Also in attendance was Anton Abele, 16, who formed the high profile Stoppa Gatuvåldet ('Stop Street Violence') network following the brutal assault that led to the death of 16-year-old Riccardo Campogiani in 2007.

Ibrahim Ali died of knife wounds suffered in the early hours of Saturday, October 18th. His body was later dumped from a black Audi in front of Karolinska University Hospital.

Eight suspects aged 16 to 25 remain in custody as police continue their efforts to piece together the events which led to Ibrahim Ali's stabbing.

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