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Fires and rioting in Stockholm suburb

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07:30 CEST+02:00
Rioting was reported in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby on Tuesday night as 50-60 youths pelted police with stones and set alight to a building.

"It is a war zone out here, it is raining stones", said one witness who wished to remain anonymous to the Metro daily.

According to another witness a bus trying to enter the deprived area was forced to stop.

"Not a single window on the bus was intact," an eye witness said.

Police were given an indication that something was afoot earlier in the evening as youths gathered on the streets equipping themselves with paving stones.

"They did all they could to attract our attention," said Mats Brännlund at Stockholm police.

But police decided to react first when a building housing a mentor programme for young people in the area, burst into flames.

"We had to help the emergency services to get through," Brännlund said.

In total around 20 police patrols with dogs were present in the area throughout the night as they tried to restore calm. Police vehicles were also subject to stone throwing.

"If you attack the police with stones and set alight to buildings then I would venture to suggest that it can be classified as rioting," he said.

The fire services deployed 21 staff from three fire stations at the location, but none were reported to have been subjected to stone throwing.

A branch of the Nordea bank was attacked at around midnight with the local police station also the target of stone throwing youths. Two men were detained in connection with the police station attack.

According to media reports on Wednesday the cause of the outbreak of violence could have been the reaction to an argument at a party in the area earlier in the evening, but the reports have not been confirmed by police.

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