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Russian migrant freed by armed men

A Russian man was freed from the Migration Board's (Migrationsverket) detention centre in Gävle in northern Sweden on Sunday by a group of armed men.

Russian migrant freed by armed men

According to staff reports, shots were fired during the break out.

“A rope appeared over the fence and into the exercise yard where there were two members of staff. I don’t know at this point exactly how many inmates there were. When one of them climbed up the rope an employee tried to stop him, but then a person appeared on the fence with a pistol-like object. The staff member then let go and ran away and thought he heard shots,” said Jürgen Büttner at the centre.

“The staff are feeling okay under the circumstances,” he said to news agency TT later in the evening.

Inmates at the detention centre are offered the chance to exercise twice a day, for a total of three hours. Escapes have happened, but never with weapons involved.

The centre is located in the Södertull area of the city and all of those held there have been issued with a deportation order.

“It is very probable that this is the reason behind the escape,” said Büttner.

Witnesses reported seeing the inmate and the gang run several hundred metres to a waiting car, according to Peter Hultqvist at the local police.

Police investigators are continuing their examination of the location on Monday.

“Most indications are that the shots were not live rounds,” said Hultqvist.

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CHRISTMAS

Sweden’s Gävle Christmas goat ready to return for festive season

Sweden's straw yule goat Gävlebocken, whose biggest claim to fame is its tendency to get burned down every year, is all set for its annual return on Sunday.

Sweden's Gävle Christmas goat ready to return for festive season
The ill-fated 2016 Gävlebocken. Photo: Pernilla Wahlman/TT

Every year, the Christmas goat (Gävlebocken) in the Slottstorget square in Gävle, central Sweden, attracts a media storm with locals dreaming up new ways to protect the arson-prone 13-metre-high creation.

Despite their efforts, including in some years spraying the goat in anti-flammable liquid, the goat usually goes up in flames long before Swedes have opened their Christmas presents.

Last year, the goat surprisingly made it to Boxing Day intact, to the delight of organisers, who were reported to have put a “secret” plan into effect to protect it.

In 2016 it was less fortunate, going down in flames mere hours after its inauguration.

READ ALSO: 'Memorial' to be held for Sweden's giant yule goat

“Many people are invested” in the straw goat in Gävle, Maria Wallberg of the town’s municipality told TT.

The central Swedish town is naturally proud of its luckless Christmas decoration, despite the fact it has burned town 29 times during its 50-year history.

Thousands of people are expect to attend the unveiling of the goat on Sunday, with the ceremony to be presented by Swedish comedian Clara Henry.

“It means an incredible amount that the city has such a strong symbol which is known all over the world,” Wallberg said.

Security around the giant goat is expected to be high, both during its inauguration day and throughout December. Security guards and cameras will both be deployed to keep an eye on it behind its fencing, while a taxi rank has been moved to the square to increase the presence of people in the area.

“For security reasons, we can’t go into too much detail,” Wallberg said of any further precautions.

Historical precedent is against Gävlebocken. In its first year, 1966, it burned down on New Year’s Eve and it has only made it through the entire month on 15 occasions. It has been burned, stolen and vandalised. In 1976, someone drove a stock car into it.


Orörd = undamaged; uppeldad = burned down; annan skada = otherwise damaged; oklart öde = fate unknown. Graphic: TT

“An attack early in the season would mean cancellations at hotels and restaurants. So it is incredibly important for Gävle, Gävle’s businesses and for everyone who wants to visit the goat that it is still standing at New Year,” Wallberg said.

READ ALSO: Five weirdest attacks on Gävle's arson-prone Christmas goat

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