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  • A student and her parent leave a school in Trollhattan, where a masked attacker killed two people with what may have been a sword before being gunned down by police.

    A student and her parent leave a school in Trollhattan, where a masked attacker killed two people with what may have been a sword before being gunned down by police. | Photo: Reuters

The racially-motivated killings are part of larger racial tensions in Sweden where a Nazi-rooted political party is now its most popular.  

The man who killed two people at a Swedish school was “driven by racist motives,” a police official announced Friday.

Police Chief Niclas Hallgren told a Swedish public service radio, "We are convinced that the assailant was driven by racist motives when he carried out the act," referring to the killing of two people in a school in southern Sweden on Thursday.

"We have reached this conclusion based on what we found when we searched his apartment and his behavior during the act, and also on the basis of how he selected his victims," he added, RT reported.

The murders include a teacher and a student at the Kronan school in Trollhattan, near Goteborg, Sweden's second-largest city. Police say at least two other people were injured before they gunned down the attacker, a 21-year-old man who has yet to be named by police.

During the attack, the suspect appeared to be wearing a black trench coat and headgear partly resembling a World War II-era German infantry helmet.

While Sweden has one of the world's lowest homicide rates, the racial motives behind the attack show a worrying trend in a country where a far-right anti-immigrant party, historically rooted in Nazism, has become the most popular party according to recent opinion polls.

The controversial Sweden Democrats Party is known for its outspoken stance against Sweden’s acceptance of asylum-seekers, which have increased in recent years as a result of the war in Syria.

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The party is infamous for an advertising campaign vilifying panhandlers and homeless people, saying Jewish people are not Swedish unless they abandon their ethnic identity, and that Black people are genetically programed to rape women and children.

While Sweden has traditionally presented itself as progressive country free of racism, a U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent reported a different reality after its visit to the country in 2014.

"It is our view that the Swedish philosophy of equality and its public and self-image as a country with non-discrimination and liberal democracy, blinds it to the racism faced by Afro-Swedes and Africans in its midst. No country is free of racism and Sweden is not an exception," the report concluded.

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