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Riot near Swedish capital over drug arrest comes days after Trump comments

A police officer takes notes at a burnt car in the suburb of Rinkeby outside Stockholm, Sweden on Feb. 21.
(Fredrik Sandberg / EPA)

Swedish police Tuesday were investigating a riot that broke out overnight in a predominantly immigrant suburb in Stockholm after officers arrested a suspect on drug charges.

The riot comes two days after President Trump’s reference to a supposed frightening security episode in Sweden prompted a deluge of ridicule.

“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden!” he said at a rally on Saturday in Florida. “Who would believe this? Sweden!”

But Swedish authorities reported no terror-related incident or other episode involving large-scale violence.

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The Monday clashes started when police arrested a suspect and people started throwing stones at them in Rinkeby, north of Stockholm. Unidentified people, including some wearing masks, also set cars on fire and looted shops.

One officer was slightly injured when a rock hit his arm and one person was arrested for throwing rocks, police spokesman Lars Bystrom said Tuesday. Some civilians who tried to stop the looters were also assaulted, he added.

Another officer fired his gun, not as a warning shot but because he was “in a situation that demanded he used his firearm,” Bystrom said, adding “no one was hit.”

He declined to give further details, saying the episode would be investigated.

Police were investigating three cases of violent rioting, assaulting a police officer, two assaults, vandalism and aggravated thefts, he said.

“This kind of situation doesn’t happen that often but it is always regrettable when it happens,” Bystrom said.

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