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Attack on Malmö Jewish centre ruled a hate crime

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Attack on Malmö Jewish centre ruled a hate crime
16:29 CEST+02:00
The explosion outside a Jewish community centre in Malmö last week is now being investigated as a hate crime, a move welcomed by the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism.

“It's obvious that this is a hate crime. The fact that the crime was aimed at the Jewish community centre shows that people were expressing hostility towards it,” said prosecutor Hans Harding to Swedish newspaper Expo.

“We're putting enormous resources into trying to solve this. If it were a usual break-in then we wouldn't have had the county police service taking over the case. This happened because the crime is aimed towards the Jewish community.”

The attack was carried out in the early hours of Friday morning night last week, when an explosion rocked the community centre and someone tried to break through the front door.

No one was injured in the explosion, which was heard up to three blocks away.

The Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism (Svenska kommittén mot antisemitism) welcomes the news that the attack is now considered a hate crime.

“It's really important that the authorities act like this and put in sufficient resources as the number of hate crimes grows. I am happy when the prosecutor says that this will be taken extremely seriously,” spokesman Willy Silberstein told the paper.

“We cannot become immune to this, we must respond when the attacks increase.”

Two 18-year-old men were arrested following the attack, although they both deny the crime.

The attack reignited a long-simmering debate about the safety of Jews in Sweden's third largest city.

Fred Kahn, head of the Jewish community in Malmö, said the attack reaffirms the view that the Jews in Malmö remain under threat and have suffered as a result.

"We need to heighten our security, but we don't have the money for things like that," he told the TT news agency after the attack.

However, Kahn remained at a loss as to why Jews in Malmö appear to be subject to more threats and violence than Jews elsewhere in the country.

"More attacks are directed at Jews in Malmö. I haven't heard about it happening in other places in Sweden," he told the the local Skånska Dagbladet newspaper.

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