No Soldiers in Rinkeby

The Swedish military is backing down on the controversial plans to practice civilian contact, in full combat gear, in a multicultural suburb of Stockholm.

On Wednesday 1 April, it was announced that an exercise would be staged at the main square of Rinkeby where soldiers would learn to interact in an ethnically diverse environment before leaving for Afghanistan. After heavy protests from local politicians, many of who initially thought it was an April Fools’ joke - the military decided to cancel the event.

The exercise would have involved soldiers from the unit’s military observation teams, who move freely in the cities to engage contact with the civilian population. Despite not being able to practice in the suburb, the soldiers will now attend a meeting with the local Muslim society on Friday. (rm)

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