Swedish authorities have arrested and charged a 35-year-old Iranian-born man with attempted murder after he attacked a 10-year-old girl with a knife in Gothenburg while she was out for a walk with her grandmother.
The attack, which took place at midday on Friday, March 3rd, at Brunnsparken in central Gothenburg, saw the child stabbed multiple times, including in her stomach, while her 65-year-old Swedish grandmother who attempted to protect her suffered a stab wound to her arm, state broadcaster SVT Nyheter reports.
The assault was finally brought to an end when the perpetrator, whose name is Milad Salari, according to multiple reports from the Swedish press, was tackled to the ground and subdued by a few passers-by and security guards. An off-duty police officer also intervened, Thomas Fuxborg, a press spokesman with the Gothenburg police said.
After she had been rushed to the hospital by emergency services, the victim’s condition was assessed as serious but stable, according to the city’s police. The 10-year-old girl, who is a citizen of the Netherlands, had been in Sweden to see her grandparents.
Joakim Lamotte, a Swedish journalist, wrote on his Facebook page: “According to several of the witnesses I spoke to, the suspected perpetrator shouted Allahu Akbar before the attack on the girl in Gothenburg. However, this hasn’t been confirmed by the police.”
Firas Moussa, a 22-year-old who works in a building close to the tram stop where the attack and arrest took place, told Göteborgs Posten that large pools of blood were visible at the stop.
Prior to the attempted murder of the child, the alleged perpetrator had scores of criminal convictions, including theft, assault, drug offenses, unlawful threats, and aggravated robbery. He served three years in prison for aggravated robbery before being paroled in 2018.
Despite having been convicted of assault and theft during his probationary period, Swedish courts did not sentence Salari to any additional time in prison. Between 2019 and 2023, Salari is reported to have been convicted of ten different crimes, the last of which took place in November of 2022, when a court convicted him of stealing a laptop from an electronics store in central Gothenburg.
The authorities, which once again failed to imprison Salari for the laptop theft, cited that they had given him probation since there had been “significant improvement in his personal and social situation.”
Salari, who moved to Sweden with his parents and two siblings in 1989 from Iran, was granted temporary residence in the country shortly thereafter. The following year he and his family received permanent residence permits, and in 1994, when Salari was six years old, he received Swedish citizenship. Before he turned 18, he had been accused of committing 24 criminal offenses. The prison sentencing, for crimes as extreme as armed robbery, was light or changed to probation.
He has a history of drug abuse and mental illness, according to statements from the correctional service.