As many as 25 policemen were called to the asylum centre in Ljusne. Photo: Pernilla Wahlman/TT
Police in Sweden arrested a man on Sunday on suspicion of stabbing a man to death during a brawl at an asylum centre, in the latest in a string of serious crimes linked to refugees.
According to Sweden's Expressen
newspaper, the man is suspected of attacking his victims after a conflict with another resident at the centre in Ljusne on Sweden's east coast, flew out of control on Saturday afternoon.
He has also been charged with the attempted murder of three other men, all of whom were seriously injured in the fight.
A further three men arrested on Saturday night have since been released, although they are all still viewed as suspects.
“We believe that most of those involved are in their 20s,” Christer Nordström from the local Gävleborg police told Expressen.
“But several of them left the area before we got to there, so now we are now working to establish the identity of everyone involved and established who did what.”
Police did not yet know what weapon had been used in the attacks, but said that the deceased and three injured had suffered stab wounds.
According to Expressen, the brawl seems to have been triggered by some friends living at another asylum centre who had come to visit some of the residents.
The newspaper reported that most, if not all of those involved in the fight were of Afghan origin.
Between 20 and 25 police officers were called out to the centre on Saturday evening, by which time the three of the suspects had locked themselves in their rooms.
Police on Sunday morning were still gathering additional interpreters to help them interview suspects, victims and witnesses.
Nordström said the number of people involved in the attack as well as the language barrier meant it would take some time to establish what had taken place.
Sweden's SvD newspaper at the end of last month released police statistics which showed that police had been called out to 5,000 incidents linked to asylum accommodation or other issues concerning refugees since mid-October.
The cases included 559 registered assaults, 450 fights, 194 cases of violent threats, 58 fires, two bomb threats, nine robberies and four rapes, all involving recently arrived asylum seekers.
However, the Dagens Nyheter newspaper earlier this month put the figures in context, revealing that they accounted for less than one percent of all the crimes committed in the country over the period.