Swedish leader condemns violence linked to far right

STOCKHOLM Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:24pm EDT

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt arrives at a European leaders emergency summit on the situation in Ukraine, in Brussels March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt arrives at a European leaders emergency summit on the situation in Ukraine, in Brussels March 6, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

Related Topics

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Swedish government has condemned an attack over the weekend in which four people were wounded, saying violence by far-right groups was hurting the country's image.

Four people were beaten and cut in a fight in the early hours of Sunday in the city of Malmo after a march to celebrate International Women's Day, police said. One is still in hospital.

Right-wing political group The Party of the Swedes said in a press release that the incident occurred when some of its members were attacked in Malmo by left-wing "extremists".

Three people were arrested and have been charged with attempted murder.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in a statement: "Incidences of nazism and racism besmirch much of what people think is good about Sweden. It is now important that those who have used violence are brought to justice."

The chairman of parliament's justice committee called on Sweden's intelligence service SAPO to investigate the far-right.

"You can't exclude the possibility that there is a Swedish Anders Breivik among these groups and it is SAPO's duty to investigate them," he told Sweden's national news agency, referring to the Norwegian who killed 77 people in a bomb and gun attack in 2011.

Support for the far-right is on the rise across Europe and in Sweden the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, who reject violence, look like extending gains they made the last general election in 2010, polling around 10 percent ahead of a vote in September.

Sweden has experienced several racist attacks in recent months, including an attack on an anti-racist march, swastika graffiti at a school with Jewish pupils in Stockholm and Nazi signs daubed on a mosque in the capital.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

FILED UNDER: