Jenny Stanton, Daily Mail, January 29, 2016
A 19-strong group of young men attacked staff at a centre for refugee children in Sweden with makeshift weapons, forcing them to barricade themselves inside a room.
The men in their care rioted at the accommodation centre in Emmaboda, south-east Sweden, on Wednesday night and staff members were only freed when police arrived.
The incident follows the stabbing of Swedish aid worker, Alexandra Mezher, 22, who died as she tried to break up a fight at a shelter for unaccompanied child refugees in the country.
In the latest incident, the Swedish newspaper Expressen, quoting Ingela Crona from the local police in Kalmar, reported that a violent riot broke out at the centre.
‘They broke loose, and a total of 19 people banded together and did this,’ she told the newspaper, which reported that the men were carrying makeshift weapons.
The violence started after staff refused a request for a resident at the refugee centre to buy sweets, John Nilsson, from the local police force, told Barometern newspaper.
‘[They] became furious with the staff member,’ he added. ‘He collected together around 15 friends and the staff were forced to shut themselves in while they broke windows and did what they liked.’
According to RT, police arrested two of the young men. The 16-year-old suspected of starting the riot is in custody and another person has been released.
Sweden took in around 35,400 unaccompanied minors in 2015, nine times more than in 2014.
Tensions are rising in the country and on Thursday, Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said Sweden could send back 60,000-80,000 asylum seekers in the coming years.
‘The first step is to ensure voluntary returns,’ Ygeman told Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri. ‘But if we don’t succeed, we need to have returns by coercion.’
More than 160,000 people applied for asylum in Sweden last year, the highest number in Europe relative to population size.
The country of 9.8 million is among the European Union states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita.
On Thursday, Somali-born Youssaf Khaliif Nuur, who is charged with murdering Miss Mezher on Monday, appeared in court.
She died saving the life of another resident whom allegedly knife-wielding Khaliif Nuur was trying to kill at the child shelter in Mölndal, a suburb of Gothenburg, police sources said.
Swedish prosecutors admit they do not know if Somalian Khaliif Nuur, supposedly aged 15, is his true identity.
Children’s asylum applications are fast-tracked in Sweden, prompting some grown men to lie and say they are teenagers.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven promised more resources for police after Miss Mezher was stabbed to death.
The stabbing sparked concerns that authorities were being overwhelmed by the number of asylum seekers in the country.