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Swedish capital shaken by 3 nights of rioting

By Stephanie Halasz. Per Nyberg and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 8:30 PM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Three nights of rioting involves youths and police in Sweden's capital, Stockholm
  • Husby, a northern suburb of Stockholm, has been at the center of the disorder
  • Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt appeals for calm in the capital

(CNN) -- Rioting has broken out for the past three nights in Sweden's capital, Stockholm, with scores of cars set alight and violent clashes between police and youths.

The shooting death of a man by police is blamed for the demonstrations.

More than 100 vehicles were set on fire Sunday night just in the northern suburb of Husby, Stockholm police press officer Kjell Lindgren told CNN on Wednesday. Another 29 were set on fire Tuesday night in the wider district, he said.

Eight people were arrested in Husby Tuesday night, which was quieter than the previous two nights, he said.

Husby is an area that has a lot of problems and a high crime rate, according to Lindgren.

The Swedish version of The Local, an English-language online newspaper, quoted a local youth leader as saying some police officers used racial slurs against residents Sunday as the trouble flared.

Tensions have been brewing since May 14, when police shot dead a 69-year-old Husby man who had a machete, the newspaper said.

The disorder led Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to issue a statement Tuesday appealing for calm.

"We have had two nights of great worry, damage to property and a threatening mood in Husby. There is a risk that it will continue. Now everyone must help out to calm things down," he said.

"We have groups of young men who believe one should and can change our society through violence. We cannot let violence govern."

Police officers are there to maintain order according to laws that apply to everyone and to keep residents safe, Reinfeldt said.

"We should not make the use of violence a part of freedom of expression," he added.

Reinfeldt said the trouble reflects a broader problem in Swedish society; more should be done to support education and help young people into work, he said.

Sweden is generally regarded as having a history of successful integration of various immigrant groups.

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