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Friday's masked gang a mixture of hooligans and Neo-Nazis

Published måndag 1 februari 2016 kl 09.57
"You start to get scared about going into the city"
2:29 min
Police outside Stockholm's central station on Friday night. Photo:  Stefan Reinerdahl / TT.
Police outside Stockholm's central station on Friday night. Photo: Stefan Reinerdahl / TT.

The gang of 70 to 100 men dressed in black and wearing masks who gathered in central Stockholm Friday night to encourage violence against unaccompanied refugee minors was an assemblage of football supporters and far-right extremists.

Newswire TT reported that the masked men who prowled the streets were believed to be looking for immigrants. With "sources on the scene" an article from Friday night on the website Nordfront, a publication of the Neo-Nazi group the Nordic Resistance Movement, specified the football fans as "...around one hundred hooligans from Firman Boys (AIK) and DFG (Djurgården) gathered to clean up among the criminal immigrants from North Africa...."

Swedish Radio news spoke with Agneta Blom, a Social Democrat and former national coordinator for promoting a positive fan culture. Blom said it was not the first time such an alliance was made, but she said it was concerning nevertheless.

"It is extremely serious when violent groups seek each other out. So it's an issue of our reacting against violence" she said.

Blom confirmed to Swedish Radio that the mob consisted of football hooligans and far-right extremists.

"That information has come from different places. Even if, as I understand it, there isn't a formal confirmation, according to the information I have I'm pretty sure those people were there," said Blom.

Football hooligans are also reported to have attended a demonstration of far-right extremists in Stockholm on Saturday night.

"Those connections have been there before, between football supporters and far-right extremists. And these groups focus on violence. It's natural that there's an overlap between them," said Blom.

Police said Monday that there have not been reports of actual violence because of the group Friday night except for one undercover officer who was hit in the face.

On Saturday, a couple of hundred people took part in a demonstration in central Stockholm. The demonstration was organised by someone calling themselves "The People's Demonstration." Daily Dagens Nyheter reported that the Sweden Democrats in Nyköping and Oxelösund organised bus trips for people who wanted to take part in the demonstration. According to DN "Sweden Democrats and former Sweden Democrats stood side by side with Nazis, right-wing extremists and football hooligans" at the demonstration.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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