Riots Explode in Swedish Capital Shortly After Trump's Comments on Sweden

Burning cars in riots in Stockholm, Sweden, Feb. 20, 2017 / AP
February 21, 2017

Riots broke out in Stockholm, Sweden, the country's capital, just two days after President Donald Trump said during a speech that an influx of immigrants into Sweden has led to a surge of violence.

A drug-related arrest made by Swedish police on Monday night prompted crowds of residents to gather at the scene in the predominately immigrant neighborhood of Rinkeby, a northwestern suburb of Stockholm, the Washington Post reported.

About half a dozen cars were set on fire, rocks were thrown at police officers, and storefronts were vandalized by the crowd. Up to 70 people threw stones and other objects, including 20 to 30 masked men, according to the New York Times.

A newspaper photographer was attacked by a dozen men and his camera was stolen.

Police confirmed that an officer fired a warning shot at the scene.

Nobody was reportedly arrested beyond the initial drug-related arrest.

Riots such as this one have occurred in Stockholm's suburbs in the past, but officials said they are infrequent.

The riots gained special media attention in the U.S. because they came after Trump said at a rally in Melbourne, Fla. on Saturday that Sweden has experienced growing turmoil amid a surge of immigration, especially from refugees.

"When you look at what's happening in Germany, when you look at what's happening last night in Sweden, Sweden!" Trump said. "Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they're having problems like they never thought possible."

Trump later clarified that he was not referring to a specific security incident, which did not occur, but rather a Fox News report he saw on a general increase of crime in Sweden.

There is still debate over whether there has been an increase in crime in Sweden since the country began taking in a large number of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa.