Swedish Police Say School Sword Attacker Had Racist Motives
Thursday’s stabbing attack on a school in western Sweden, in which a teacher and a student were killed, was motivated by racism, CNN has reported.
CNN quoted a police spokesperson as saying on Friday the conclusion was reached because of the way the attacker picked his victims “who had a specific ethnic background” and due to things that police found in his home.
The town of Trollhattan, near Gothenburg, where the attack took place has a large immigrant population.
The 21-year-old masked man wielding a sword walked into the school stabbing his victims before being shot by police. He was taken to hospital where he died from gunshot wounds.
Another teacher and a student who both were stabbed by the attacker remained in hospital on Friday
"Everything points to this being a hate crime," Reuters quoted lead investigator Thord Haraldsson as saying at a news conference. "He selected his victims and attacked the dark-skinned ones and left the light-skinned ones alone."
According to Sweden’s Interior Minister Anders Ygeman, racist feelings have been on the rise among some members of society as record numbers of refugees have been arriving into the country.
Sweden, a country of 9.8 million, expects to receive up to 190,000 asylum applications this year, which puts it among the EU states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita.
With Sweden's ability to house and integrate the new arrivals coming under strain, support for the far-right has increased, AFP noted in its coverage of the tragic event.
Swedish media reports named the attacker as Anton Lundin Pettersson. He had allegedly joined a campaign to push for a referendum on whether Sweden should continue accepting migrants, according to the BBC.
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