‘She was helpful and strong’: Best friend of stabbed worker at Swedish refugee center speaks to RT
The suspected assailant is a young man who lived at the center for unaccompanied young refugees aged 14 to 17 in Molndal near Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast, AFP reported, citing police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg.
While there have been no official reports on the suspect’s age or nationality, the arrested teenager is 15 years old, Swedish news agency TT reported. There have been some unconfirmed reports that he is a migrant from Somalia.
The victim, 22-year-old psychology graduate Alexandra Mezher, was reportedly working the night shift alone when she was attacked.
“She worked at the center for about four months. She wanted to continue with her studies, but wanted to have a job to get experience first,” Alexandra’s best friend, Lejla Filipovic, told RT.
The aspiring social worker was of Lebanese origin, but born and raised in Sweden, her friend said.
“We met on the first day of high school, and since then we’ve spent almost every day together. She was like a sister to me, and my parents took her like their second daughter, we became really very close. She was my best friend, she was like sunshine,” Lejla said.
“She gave a lot to others, but didn’t expect anything back. She was helpful, independent and strong,” the grieving woman added, saying that Alexandra’s family does not want her to be just an anonymous victim.
The Mezhers are reportedly angry with the authorities, blaming Alexandra’s death on the government’s inability to deal with the current migrant and refugee crisis. Lejla said that Alexandra’s mother “doesn’t want to spread any anger,” but added: “it’s not safe in Sweden, it’s not safe anywhere right now.”
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The motive for the killing is not clear as of yet, police said. However, it has been revealed that law enforcement in the region is often called in to deal with incidents at refugee centers.
“There have been many new people arriving in Sweden and we’ve been called out nearly every week due to fights breaking out here in the western region. Swedish police in all other regions have also had to attend to similar incidents at care homes or migrant facilites,” police spokesman Fuxborg said.
With Sweden experiencing a record number of migrant arrivals, the number of violent incidents at asylum facilities more than doubled from 2014 to 2015, according to the Swedish Migration Agency. While there were around 150 incidents in 2014, last year that number increased to 322.
The attack came as Sweden’s National Police Commissioner is requesting up to 4,100 new employees to deal with the current influx of refugees and the increased risk of terrorism they allegedly bring. Sweden, with a population of 9.8 million people, took in over 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, including about 35,000 unaccompanied minors, accepting more refugees per capita than any other country in Europe.