Sweden braced for more violence

Stockholm was braced for a fifth night of riots as violent unrest that began almost a week ago in the northern suburbs of the Swedish capital continued to spread to other corners of the city.

The brother-in-law of a 68-year-old man who was shot by police in his apartment 12 days ago, in an incident said to be the initial cause of the unrest, has spoken for the first time, asking people to "stop burning cars".

"I would say to anyone who burns cars that it is completely the wrong way to react. From violence, we only get more violent. It is not the solution.We have to discuss with the police and get along," Risto Kajanto told Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper.

Kajanto said his brother-in-law, whose name has still not been made public, threatened a gang of youth who had confronted him at his home. Later, when police knocked on his door, Kajanto mistook them for the youths and didn't respond.

Believing the woman in the apartment - his wife - to be in danger, the police, his brother-in-law maintains, shot him.

Kajanto emigrated to Sweden from Portugal more than 30 years ago and had been married to his Finnish wife almost as long.

Swedish police have not commented on Kajanto's version of events, but they were prepared for the continuing violence.

"We are prepared for the worst case scenario," a police spokesman told the Independent. "And we have been every night since the first night."

At least 10 cars were set on fire in Rinkeby, a suburb close to Husby, where the trouble first began.

There were fires too in Jordbru, far south of the city centre.

It is the worst civil unrest in Sweden in modern times. More than 300 cars have been set on fire. At one point a police station in the north-west was set alight, but was quickly contained.

Five arrests were made yesterday, but only one person remains in custody.

On Thursday eight people were arrested in the Husby area. It is understood that the majority of those were not from the areas in which they were arrested, adding credence to the growing belief that the rioters are travelling from place to place, intent on causing trouble.

- Independent

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