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Monday, 29 January, 2001, 14:18 GMT
Neo-Nazis held for Oslo 'racist' murder
Grieving friends
Benjamin's friends left flowers where he was stabbed
Five neo-Nazis have been arrested after a black teenager was stabbed to death in Norway.

The attack is being described as Norway's first racially-motivated murder.

The prime minister has issued a statement condemning the attack and delivering a warning that racism and intolerance pose a threat to Norwegian society.

Norwegian Police at scene of murder
Police have scoured the scene for forensic evidence
The dead teenager, 15-year-old Benjamin Hermansen, was killed on Friday in a suburb of Oslo, where he was well-known as a campaigner against racism.

Last summer he appeared on a television programme to discuss an earlier attack against him by neo-Nazis.

Police say the five neo-Nazis detained after the attack were all members of a group known as the Boot Boys.

The five - three men in their 20s and two teenaged women - were detained in an Oslo flat filled with Nazi memorabilia, said a spokesman.

I never thought this could happen in Norway

Police Inspector
Finn Abrahamsen
Officers who went to the flat found books by leading Nazi Rudolf Hess, and posters for "white power" music.

Police have described their shock at dealing with a racially-motived murder in Norway.

"I have served in Lebanon and Yugoslavia. There people were killed because of their race. I never thought this could happen in Norway," Inspector Finn Abrahamsen was quoted as saying by the daily Dagbladet.

Benjamin had been swapping mobile phone covers with a friend in the multi-racial suburb of Holmlia when the attack happened.

His friend, who was white, was not injured.

Hundreds of people attended a rally on Sunday at the scene of the attack, some of them teenagers who wept openly.

Boot Boys march

"Benjamin cared about fairness. I think he's in paradise now," said one of his friends, Victor Lopez, in an address shown on national news.

The statement from Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg condemned the murder, and delivered a warning against the threat that racism and intolerance represent to Norwegian society.

The Boot Boys, believed to have around 200 members, wanted last August to stage a march through Oslo to mark the anniversary of Hess's death.

Permission was repeatedly denied, but the neo-Nazi group's plans sparked a rival anti-racist march through the city, attended by 15,000 people, and the Boot Boys were forced to take their own demonstration outside the city.

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23 Oct 99 | Europe
Swedes rally against racists
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