08:44 GMT +319 October 2017
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    A group of men calling themselves the ‘Soldiers of Odin’ are pictured on February 5, 2016 in Kemi, northern Finland. Fierce-looking men calling themselves the Soldiers of Odin patrol Finnish streets claiming to protect locals from asylum seekers

    Nationalist 'Soldiers of Odin' Clash With Militant Leftists in Sweden

    © AFP 2017/ Sam Kingsley
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    Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe (161)
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    Twelve people have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault after a large-scale scuffle between right-wing vigilantes Soldiers of Odin and left-wing activists AFA in the Swedish town of Jönköping.

    According to Swedish police, up to 50 people were involved in the fight between Soldiers of Odin and left-wing extremist group AFA in central Jönköping, with a number of participants wielding various types of weapons. Twelve people were apprehended as a result of the brawl and later arrested on suspicion of assault, none of them reportedly belonging to Soldiers of Odin. Swedish police have also seized a number of weapons, but would not confirm the exact nature of these.

    Whereas none of the individuals involved in the violence have been taken to hospital, Swedish news outlet Fria Tider reported that a 41-year-old vigilante woman was beaten by AFA activists using batons and bars. So far, three victims, all belonging to the Soldiers of Odin, have put in plaintiff's statements, local news outlet Jnytt reported.

    Various sources on Swedish social media suggested that the clash may have been prearranged, although police were unable to confirm this, yet confirmed that the left-wing movement in Jönköping has grown, which naturally aggravated the risk of clashes with their antagonists.

    "We know they are out there, we know that there are people who do not like them, and we know that confrontations can happen," police officer Lars-Göran Nilseryd told Swedish Radio.

    Nilseryd admitted that Swedish police received information that Soldiers of Odin were going to patrol the town beforehand, yet chose not to intervene. AFA previously published an overview of the right-wing vigilantes' operations.

    Soldiers of Odin are an international street patrol group with an anti-immigrant agenda, which was founded in the Finnish city of Kemi in October 2015 amid the international migrant crisis. In the spring of 2016, the Soldiers of Odin established themselves in Sweden. At present, they operate in over 20 Swedish cities and have close to 10,000 supporters on Facebook. By their own claims, the organization is present in 17 nations worldwide.

    AFA is a Swedish autonomous network formed in 1993 as part of the international network Antifascist Action. Today, the network consists of several groups of militant activists ideologically rooted in various forms of radical socialism. AFA's overall goal is to through a revolution abolish the current social order in favor of a stateless and classless society.

    Topic:
    Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe (161)

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    Tags:
    leftist politics, migrant crisis, radicalism, AFA, Soldiers Of Odin, Scandinavia, Sweden
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