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Half of arrested neo-Nazi rioters are teens

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Half of arrested neo-Nazi rioters are teens
Scenes from Sunday's neo-Nazi attack on an anti-racism demo in Stockholm. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT
10:07 CET+01:00
VIDEO: More than half of the 26 people arrested in Sunday's neo-Nazi riot in Stockholm are younger than 20. Experts warn attempts to denazify Sweden are failing, as a new generation of "social outcasts" emerges.

There were sweeping arrests following the incident that marred an anti-Nazi demonstration by local residents, including families with children, in the Kärrtorp neighbourhood of the capital. Members of the far-right Swedish Resistance Movement (Svenska motståndsrörelsen) attacked the peaceful protest, which left three people hospitalized. 

Police in Stockholm are holding 26 people in custody on suspicion of violent rioting and serious assault. More than half of those detained are under the age of 20 including one minor, reported Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Tuesday.

The paper added that one of those arrested has a previous conviction for attempting to stab to death a left-wing activist.

Demonstration organizers estimated that between 500 and 800 people attended the anti-racism rally in the Stockholm suburb. However, a group of more than 30 neo-Nazis intervened, sparking violent scenes where bottles and firecrackers were thrown into the crowd.

Stockholm police spokesman Kjell Lindgren declined to say whether those arrested belonged to either a right- or left-wing group.

"I can't categorize people in that way. But I can say that those arrested are the followers who attacked the demonstration," Lindgren told the TT news agency.

He added that along with charges of violent rioting and serious assault one of those arrested was detained for assaulting a police officer.

Meanwhile it has emerged that the police were aware of a potential threat from neo-Nazis prior to Sunday's fracas. Lindgren said that the information failed to reach the authorities in time, which resulted in not enough officers being deployed at the scene.

"It is not acceptable that a demonstration is attacked violentley in this way," he said, adding that the police will change their procedures on how they deal with information as a result of the incident.

In an editorial in Monday's Dagens Nyheter, historian Mats Deland of Uppsala University said that the attempts to denazify Sweden are failing.

"Now we obviously have a new generation(...) what we know is that when they are arrested you can see where they are in life and most of them are simply social outcasts."  

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