CAIRO – In an unprecedented attack on refugees, hundreds of masked men marched through Stockholm’s main train station on Friday evening, beating up refugee children and anyone who did not look ethnically Swedish.
Wearing all-black balaclavas and armbands, the men “gathered with the purpose of attacking refugee children,” Stockholm police spokesperson Towe Hagg said, The Independent reported.
“I saw maybe three people who were beaten. That was no football brawl or something similar. They targeted migrants. I was quite scared and ran away,” an eyewitness told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
The attack comes amid increasing anti-immigrant tensions in the once-welcoming Swedish society after a 22-year-old female worker was stabbed to death in a center for unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors in southwestern Sweden.
Sweden, a country of 10 million population, received 163,000 asylum seekers last year.
Swedish dailies said that according to witnesses a number of people had been attacked by the men who were thought to belong to “firms” of hooligans associated with local soccer teams.
Before the attacks, the mob handed out leaflets with the slogan “It is enough now!” which threatened to give “the North African street children who are roaming around” the “punishment they deserve”.
After the attack, the Swedish Resistance Movement, a neo-Nazi group, released a statement claiming the attack had “cleaned up criminal immigrants from North Africa that are housed in the area around the Central Station”.
“These criminal immigrants have robbed and molested Swedes for a long time,” the statement added.
“Police have clearly shown that they lack the means to stave off their rampage, and we now see no other alternative than to ourselves hand out the punishments they deserve.”