Swedish school reopens after deadly racist attack

 People attend the funeral of 15-year-old schoolboy Ahmed Hassan on Saturday, killed during an attack at Kronan school, in Trollhattan, Sweden.
People attend the funeral of 15-year-old schoolboy Ahmed Hassan on Saturday, killed during an attack at Kronan school, in Trollhattan, Sweden.PHOTO: REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Several hundred students returned to class under heightened security Monday after a racially motivated attack claimed the lives of two people at their school in southwestern Sweden 11 days ago.

The Kronan school for six- to 15-year-olds reopened for just four hours, according to the Swedish news agency TT.

Some of the youngsters were accompanied by their parents to the school, but no outsiders were allowed in. All entrances were locked, according to the school's website.

Police barrier tape had been removed, but piles of flowers and candles in honour of the victims remained outside, state broadcaster Swedish Radio reported.

Parents said they had mixed feelings. "We have left our child here at school, but our hearts did not want to leave her there," one father, Ohmet Sedicki, told Swedish Radio.

Teachers and administrators said they planned to work closely with the parents.

"The most important thing is to be in place, as adults, for the children to meet their needs and answer their questions. We help them to return to normalcy and regain some sense of routine," said the school's chief administrator, Birgitta Lundskog.

The partial reopening follows the funerals, on Wednesday and Friday, of a 20-year-old teaching assistant and a teenage student who were killed in the Oct 22 attack.

Police said the assailant, identified by the media as Anton Lundin-Pettersson, 21, targeted "those with dark complexions", with the investigation so far "pointing to Nazism".

The killer, dressed in black and wearing a Darth Vader-like mask and a German World War II Nazi-era helmet, went from classroom to classroom in search of his victims.

A teenaged student and a teacher were also wounded in the attack before police shot and killed the assailant.

All the victims were of immigrant origin.

The killer's social media accounts revealed an apparent loner fascinated by Hitler, Nazi Germany and the far-right Sweden Democrat party, which is critical of Islam and rising immigration.

Sweden, a country of 9.8 million, is expecting to receive up to 190,000 asylum seekers this year - putting it among the EU states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita as the continent struggles with a massive influx of migrants.