Four teens were sent to a hospital in Sweden on Thursday after what local authorities described as a massive brawl that resulted in stabbings, according to reports.
Swedish outlet TV4 reported that at least another three teenagers have been arrested in connection to the incident that unfolded around 12:45 p.m. local time near the Munktellarena sports facility in Eskilstuna, some 56 miles west of Stockholm. The brawl initially drew a heavy police presence when four injured 15-year-olds were rushed to the hospital.
A witness told Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet that a 20-on-20 person fight erupted between teens who were smoking together at the sports facility.
The brawl ended quickly after three teens were slashed, and the larger group dispersed and ran off toward town, according to the witness, who reportedly watched the incident from his window.
CAMERA CRANE SWINGS INTO ACTION, KNOCKING CLIMATE PROTESTER TO THE GROUND DURING LIVE SWEDISH DANCE SHOW
Police reportedly sent drones and dogs out. According to The Sun, Swedish police spokesperson Dennis Strömberg Johansson said several police patrols remained in the vicinity of Munktellarena and barriers had been set up.
“The crime classification is attempted murder,” Johansson reportedly said.
The arrests were announced later Thursday afternoon. According to TV4, the knife fight broke out between two rival youth gangs.
“There was some kind of brawl between several people. We don’t know if there are two or more gangs of people involved, but it is several persons,” a police spokesperson said earlier, according to Reuters. “There is no information whatsoever that this is related to terrorism.”
Officials reportedly confirmed there was no shooting, despite initial concern.
EXPLOSION AT SWEDISH AMMUNITION FACTORY INJURIES AT LEAST 1, ALLEGEDLY AN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT
The four injured teens – reportedly all ninth-graders at Årbyskolan in Eskilstuna – remain at Mälar Hospital. Three are said to have been stabbed in the upper body, TV4 reported.
A surgeon said two of them were seriously hurt while the injuries sustained by the other two were less severe, Region Sörmland press officer Fredrik Gustavsson told TV4.
Initial reports suggested the incident happened at a school, but it was later revealed the brawl involved high school students but happened off school grounds.
Sweden, a nation of 10 million, has in recent decades seen an increase in violence, chiefly shootings but also stabbing, by criminal gangs. In 2022, there were 391 shootings in Sweden, of which 62 were fatal, a record. So far this year, Swedish police have recorded 131 shootings, most in the Stockholm area, of which 15 were fatal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.