Two teenagers originally from Afghanistan were killed in Trondheim city centre last night.
Norwegian media are reporting the murder of two young asylum seekers and serious injuries to a third in a private Trondheim apartment last night. It isn't yet clear what provoked the attack.
The assailant – another teenage asylum seeker – is also in a serious condition after being shot in the leg by arresting officers at Trondheim bus station. They claim he was in the process of injuring himself.
“Beaten with a hammer”
Norwegian tabloid VG carried an interview with a hairdresser whose salon is immediately below the apartment on Prinsens gate. She heard noise from upstairs before finding a seriously injured person outside, bleeding heavily.
“The boy said he was beaten in the head with a hammer and that there were more people in the apartment”, she told the newspaper.
According to press reports, two social workers employed by the city had just visited the four young men and said everything was calm, with no cause for concern. Officers at a press conference claimed such visits to young asylum seekers living alone were normal procedure, and the visit wasn't for a specific reason.
This morning the police named the victims as Nasratullah Hashimi (19) and Reza Alizada (17). A city employee said the two of them were in Norway having ‘fled war and conflict’ in their home country.
State broadcaster NRK said the 18-year-old man charged with the murders has been in Norway since 2015. He has not been granted asylum but also was allowed to attend Heimdal High School, where two of the three victims also attended.
The planned opening event at the new Heimdal High School this morning was cancelled, with the school instead planning a memorial event.
Asylum policy being questioned
While not commenting on the specifics of this case, Thale Skybak from Save the Children Norway said that in general she is highly critical of the way in which single minor asylum seekers are taken care of in Norway.
In recent years the number of unaccompanied minors who come to Norway, get temporary residence, yet must leave the country when they turn 18 has increased.
“It is widely documented through research that this practice of ‘temporary stays' is detrimental to the children. All children are entitled to schooling, care and care. They are getting it today, but neither is this offer good enough”, said Skybak according to a report in Aftenposten.
This incident happens just a few months after a 17-year-old from Afghanistan was charged with the murder of 18-year-old Håvard Pedersen in Vadsø, in the north of Norway.
NTNU's Berit Berg told NRK that much can be done to prevent these incidents.
She said that close follow-up from adults and child welfare, along the availability of professional health care is important, and that this vulnerable group of single, young asylum seekers should not be considered adults.
“They have been through the war, the pursuit, the escape, and last but not least the asylum process. It's only when they come to Norway that we can influence things like how long they wait, under what conditions they wait, and what they are waiting for”, she said.
More to follow.