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Walpurgis night partying ends in violence

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Walpurgis night partying ends in violence
11:15 CEST+02:00
Walpurgis Night (Valborg) celebrations led to drunkenness and violence around Sweden, with a rape of a minor reported in Uppsala and 98 cases of assault and nine fires reported in Stockholm.

In the Heby municipality, part of the Uppsala county, one man was arrested and held overnight on suspicion of raping a minor girl. Police did not want to go into detail about the case.

"Apart from that it has been a regular Valborg with drunkenness, assault and vandalism," Mats Öjdahl of the Uppsala police told news agency TT.

Across Uppsala, 105 people were taken into custody for drunkenness and around 10 were arrested or detained on suspicion of other crimes.

A fight involving around 20 people broke out on the Stockholm archipelago island Muskö. Police were told that one person ended up in the water during the fight, but they could not find any evidence for the claim.

"We have searched with a helicopter and heat-sensor camera, but we haven't found anyone," said Jonas Palm of the Stockholm police.

Ulf Lindgren, also of the Stockholm police, said that this year's incidents were not "extreme".

"There were relatively few fires considering this is a night of bonfires and fireworks," said Lindgren.

In the southern region of Skåne most of the trouble happened in the student town Lund where 27,000 people gathered around a giant bonfire in the park Stadsparken. The partying later continued in the city centre.

"There were several fights and cases of assault, but nothing that stood out. People have simply punched each other in the face," said Skåne police spokesman Calle Persson.

But Hans Nilsson, also of the Skåne police, said there was more partying this year than last.

In Gothenburg, around 20 people were taken in for drunkenness and there were a couple of cases of assault.

In the northern town of Sundsvall, two people were stabbed with a knife and brought to hospital by ambulance. Two people were arrested in the case, which police labelled as attempted manslaughter.

In Nyköping, central Sweden, a woman was arrested on suspicion of severe assault after stabbing a man in the arm.

Walpurgis Night marks the coming of spring and is celebrated with bonfires and choral singing up and down the country. The night is also traditionally marked with heavy alcohol consumption.

TT/The Local/nr

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