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Sweden probes riot in mainly immigrant Stockholm suburb

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The hashtag #lastnightinSweden was soon trending on Twitter, and the Swedish embassy in Washington asked the state department for clarification. Mr Trump later tweeted that his statement “was in reference to a story that was broadcast on FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden”. Some people suggest Mr Trump might have been referring to a clip aired on Fox News on Friday night of a documentary about alleged violence committed by refugees in Sweden. Mr Trump continued with a tweet on Monday, saying: “The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large-scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!”

Sweden, with a population of about 9.5 million, saw a sharp increase in asylum seekers in 2015, with more than 162,000 people claiming asylum. Almost a third came from Syria. With the influx, tensions also rose with some isolated attacks on immigrants, as well as pro- and anti-migrant demonstrations. Sweden had been offering permanent residence to all Syrians but the high number of arrivals prompted a change in the rules. The number of asylum applications dropped to 29,000 in 2016 after Sweden introduced new border checks incurring longer processing times, as well as financial incentives for migrants who voluntarily returned to their country of origin.

The killing of a 22-year-old woman in January 2016 by an asylum seeker based at the centre where she worked put further pressure on the government to reassess its approach. Preliminary statistics from the Swedish Crime Survey (in Swedish) show only a marginal increase in 2016 from the year before. Fraud and crimes against individuals were up, but drugs crimes and theft had decreased. The number of reported rapes increased by 13%, although that is still lower than the number reported in 2014 (6,700), as Sweden’s The Local reports. There have been no terror attacks in Sweden since the country’s open-door policy on migration began in 2013.

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