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Swedish police demolish Roma settlement

Swedish authorities have evicted and demolished a Roma settlement in the southern city of Malmo. One protester was arrested after attacking a police officer, while five others were detained for disturbing the peace.

Authorities of the southern Swedish city Malmo demolished Tuesday an illegal settlement of mostly

Roma

from Romania.

One Twitter user posted a photo of bulldozers tearing down the informal housing.

Swedish police said they arrested at least one protester who struck an officer.

Another five demonstrators were detained for disturbing the peace as they attempted to block police officers from demolishing the settlement and evicting dwellers, said Malmo police spokesman Lars Forstell.

"There were some strong expressions of emotion," Forstell said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

"Some people had been living there for a long time," the police spokesperson added.

The group - comprising around 200 people - was given a Sunday deadline to vacate the settlement after authorities deemed the camp a sanitary hazard. The camp - situated on an industrial waste site - was settled without permission.

A local journalist said in a tweet that the settlers began marching towards city hall after their camp was destroyed. Activists also filed last-minute petitions to stay the eviction, although unsuccessful at preventing the camp's demolition.

Meanwhile,

Malmo city

spokeswoman Jeanette Silow said the group of mostly Roma was offered temporary shelter, adding that the city also said it would provide assistance for repatriation in Romania.

Tuesday's eviction and demolition of the camp comes after a months-long standoff between the settlers and authorities.

ls/kms (AP, dpa)

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