Asylum seekers rioting in Sweden

Hundreds of youth have burned down a restaurant, set fire to more than 340 cars and attacked police during a fourth night of rioting in the suburbs of the Swedish capital, shocking a country that dodged the worst of the financial crisis but failed to solve youth unemployment and resentment among asylum seekers.

Violence spread across Stockholm on Wednesday, as large numbers of young people rampaged through the suburbs, throwing stones, breaking windows and destroying cars. Police in the southern city of Malmo said two cars had been set ablaze.

Media reports said a police station office was set on fire in Stockholm’s southern suburb of Rågsved, where several people were also detained. No one was hurt and the fire was quickly put out.

Rioters defied a call for calm from the country’s prime minister, going on the rampage after nightfall damaging stores, schools, a police station and an arts and crafts centre in the four days of violence.

“I think there is a feeling that we need to be in more places tonight,” said Towe Hagg, spokeswoman for Stockholm police. One police officer was injured in the latest attacks and five people were arrested for attempted arson.

Selcuk Ceken, who works at a youth centre in the district of Hagsatra, said 40-50 youths threw stones at police and smashed windows before running away.

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