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Swedish police arrest 130 after May Day violence

Written by: Staff

STOCKHOLM, May 1 (Reuters) Dozens of radical Swedish youths smashed shop windows and clashed with police today as they turned a Stockholm May Day parade violent, police and local media said.

A police spokesman told a radio station that 130 youths were arrested after they rampaged through a central shopping street in the capital, hurling cafe chairs into shop windows.

Swedish media said the demonstrators were from the Reclaim The City group, an anti-establishment organisation which had clashed with police at its May 1 demonstrations in the past.

Dozens of uniformed and plain clothes policemen used batons to disperse the youths, beating them on the legs and backs. The TV pictures showed dozens of youths huddling against a wall after the police moved in.

The Stockholm police were not immediately available to comment, but spokesman Bjorn Engstrom told public radio that 130 people had been arrested.

''Windows have been smashed at four different shops in various places,'' he told the radio.

Engstrom said other youths had proceeded to a music concert elsewhere in the city.

The worst rioting in recent Swedish history was at a 2001 European Union summit in the western coastal city of Gothenburg, when some 25,000 activists clashed with police, prompting security forces to open fire and make nearly 600 arrests.

Reuters PR BST002

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