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School attack: Teen held on suspicion of injuring two in southern Sweden

Swedish media report that a boy suspected of trying to kill a student and teacher in the town of Kristianstad has links to a similar school attack last summer.

School attack: Teen held on suspicion of injuring two in southern Sweden
Police outside a school in Kristianstad, southern Sweden, where a student and teacher were injured in a knife attack. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police were alerted to the school in the town of Kristianstad shortly after 9am on Monday, after receiving a report that at least one person had received injuries from a knife.

“He entered our classroom with a speaker playing music and a black ‘corona mask’. At first we thought it was a prank,” an unnamed student told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

The assailant then turned towards the teacher and “started kicking”, the student said, adding that the class then started running out of the building.

Just seven minutes after the initial call, the police were able to arrest the suspect in a “relatively undramatic” way, local police chief Anders Olofsson told reporters.

A teacher, aged 55, and another student, aged 16, were injured in the attack.

The teacher’s injuries were “mild”, while the student’s injuries were described as “severe,” according to a statement published by regional health authority Region Skåne.

Police said the arrested suspect was born in 2005 and was being held suspected of attempted murder.

Later in the afternoon, broadcaster TV4 reported that the case had a connection to another similar attack in the town of Eslöv, about 50 kilometres southwest of Kristianstad, in August when a student with Nazi sympathies attacked a 45-year-old school employee.

According to TV4, the Eslöv attacker and the suspect in Kristianstad “knew each other, had been in touch with each other over the internet and shared an interest in school attacks”.

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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