After two nights of intensive rioting, police in the city requested assistance from units specially trained to deal with mass violent demonstrations.
“We don’t think it’s over yet. We think it’s going to continue and we have to be prepared to work around the clock,” said regional police spokesman Charley Nilsson.
Emotions have been running high in Malmö’s predominantly immigrant Rosengård district since police forcibly removed three squatters from the basement offices of an Islamic cultural centre. The premises had been occupied since November 24th as part of a protest against the landlord’s decision not to renew the association’s lease for the space, which it had held for the past fifteen years.
Thursday night saw the most extreme rioting in Rosengård since the disturbances began. Police were pelted with Molotov cocktails and bomb threats were issued against a local petrol station.
Police spokeswoman Ewa-Gun Westford said she would not even hazard a guess as to how many police vehicles were damaged in the rioting, as locals were reportedly joined by left-wing extremists, or “autonomists”, from outside the area.
The city’s fire and rescue services have been refusing to enter the area until their safety can be guaranteed.
One person was arrested for rioting, while another was detained for disturbing the peace.
By 3am on Friday the situation had stabilized somewhat and police were able to move in and remove burning trailers and other objects from the streets with the aid of a bulldozer.