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Thugs hurling stones, cars set on fire and refugee children aged five escorted to school by POLICE: Inside the once tranquil Swedish village at war with migrants housed in emergency centre

  • Locals and refugees have been fighting in Tärnsjö, 150km from Stockholm
  • Tensions so bad young migrant children are given a police escort to school
  • Two warring communities trade insults and throw rocks, leaving many scared to go out
  • ‘We have highest tax rate in the county because we are paying for so many immigrants,’ says local councillor 
  • Snapshot of Sweden where 17 migrant centres burned down in two months
  • As many as one in five now support the far-right Swedish Democrat party

A tranquil Swedish village is being torn apart by bitter tensions after the arrival of 20 refugee families, MailOnline can reveal.

Tärnsjö, 150km north of Stockholm, has become a hotbed of resentment where migrant children as young as five need a police escort to get to school.

Residents and newcomers have exchanged insults, thrown rocks and set fire to cars, leaving many on both sides scared to leave the safety of their homes.

Children walking home in Gysinge.

Young migrant children living there have had abuse shouted at them and spat at on their journey to school.

But events in Tärnsjö are no longer exceptional in Sweden, which has always prided itself on welcoming refugees with open arms.

In the last few months, with 10,000 asylum seekers arriving a week, the country has reintroduced border controls and the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats has become the second largest party in Sweden, opinion polls show.

Instead Tärnsjö, a relatively small village with a population of 1,200, is a snapshot of those places where bubbling anger has spilled over into violence and arson.

 Racial tension has divided the village into two groups; those who support the immigrants and those who want them gone.
Far-right councillor Michael Ohman

Protesters have set fire to 17 immigration centres in the past two months – and the authorities have warned it is only a matter of time before someone is killed in the race-hate arson attacks engulfing this once-peaceful nation.

The problem in Tärnsjö, far-right local councillor Michael Ohman told MailOnline, comes down to the fact many of the villagers never wanted the migrants to move in.

‘Racial tension has divided the village into two groups; those who support the immigrants and those who want them gone,’ he explained.

‘There has been fighting between immigrants and the people living here.

‘The village integration works badly because people don’t want immigrants in the village. This is no longer a happy community, it’s divided and is not a pleasant place to live.’

The councillor continued: ‘We have the highest tax rate in the county because we are paying for so many immigrants.

‘Everyone who comes gets an allowance of 200 Kroner (£20) a week and free housing, and who pays for that? Us, taxpayers.’

Anders Petterson, a migrant liaison officer, admits many were ‘outraged’ when they began to arrive.

He hoped people he knew in the area would help them to integrate and never anticipated one day police would be called to escort migrants’ children to school as locals hurled abuse at them.

Things have disintegrated to such an extent that children aged just five sometimes run the gauntlet of hate and intimidation and sometimes arrive at Tärnsjö Skola too terrified and upset to speak.

Even teachers there are too frightened to walk with them – worried they too will become targets of hate.

Tärnsjö Skola Principal Nina Lundén told MailOnline: ‘Children said they were frightened, that they did not feel safe when they were going from their home to the school.

The situation became so fierce the teachers and police had to walk with the children from the centre to the school. But there were teachers who wouldn’t walk with the children, because they were afraid of being threatened.
Anders Petterson

‘We then did everything we could to help them and arranged for them to be escorted in order to keep them safe.’

The problems are said to have begun in September when migrants started throwing stones at locals’ cars, and residents retaliated by throwing them back.

The fires were further stoked on social media – and eventually locals, thought to be teenagers, began organising ‘events’ where a gang would gather to throw stones at the block of flats which has been turned into a makeshift migrant centre.

Mr Petterson said: ‘This went on for about two weeks at a low scale, almost every day. It escalated windows at the centre were smashed.

‘This scared the migrants. They had come from Syria – from a war zone – to this.’

The following day a car belonging to a refugee family was set on fire.

Teachers aren’t the only ones in the village worried of rising tension, and what it might mean for their own safety.

Rasmus Leng lives just metres from the migrant block, and has witnessed much of the problem first-hand.

‘The neighbours living in the apartment nearby have caused all kinds of devilry,’ he told MailOnline, pointing to marks on his car, where someone had shot an air gun at it.

‘I’ve heard a lot of noise and disturbance among them. I don’t like them.

‘They have been throwing stones and they scream a lot during the night.

‘And then with the attacks from racists upon that? It does not feel safe here, especially with my wife being pregnant.’


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