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Police busy on alcohol-soaked Walpurgis Night

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Police busy on alcohol-soaked Walpurgis Night
09:20 CEST+02:00
Police across Sweden were kept fully occupied on Friday as cells filed up amid traditional Walpurgis Night (Valborg) excesses.

In southern Sweden the trouble started at around 10am and continued throughout the day. By the end of the evening more than 20 people had been detained for public drunkenness, with the city of Lund accounting for half the Skåne region's total.

At the other end of the country, police in Norrbotten were kept on their toes as 16 people were held for being drunk and disorderly. A further six people were arrested, one of whom is suspected of attempted manslaughter following a knife attack on two people in Kiruna.

There were messy scenes too in Södermanland in east-central Sweden. A drunken woman in Eskilstuna pulled a knife as police officers approached her, slashing one of them on the cheek.

In Stockholm police broke up several groups of intoxicated youngsters in parks across the city. Decisive police action was required on the rocks at Kristineberg where a lakeside party got out of control.

In Värmland in western Sweden some 40 people were detained or arrested for drunkenness.

"The lock-ups are well-occupied, at least in Karlstad, Arvika and Kristinehamn," said police spokesman Mats Persson.

The night also brought with it several reports of assault. In Säffle, a 21-year-old man was arrested for hitting another man in the head with a bottle.

By contrast, police in Dalarna, Gothenburg and Uppsala had a relatively quiet evening, with no more drunken behaviour reported than on an average weekend night.

Walpurgis Night marks the coming of spring and is celebrated with bonfires up and down the country. The night is however also the occasion of many young Swedes' first flirtations with alcohol.

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