Tuesday, August 23, 2016
By Steph Cockroft and Darren Boyle
The bereft father of an eight-year-old British boy who was killed when a hand grenade was thrown into his bedroom in Sweden today revealed how the little boy died in his mother’s arms.
Yuusuf Warsame, from Birmingham, was sleeping in the apartment in a working class area of Gothenburg early on Monday morning when the explosive was tossed through the window and detonated.
His devastated father Abdiwahid today described how his little boy spent his dying moments being cradled by his desperate mother.
Speaking from his home in Birmingham today, he said: ‘My wife’s heart is broken.
She told me he died in front of her. She was covered in his blood. She tried to help, she took him by his chest and held him, but he was dead.’
The incident unfolded as Yuusuf, who had celebrated his birthday just two days earlier, was visiting relatives in Sweden.
Four of his siblings, including his five-year-old brother Ahmed, were sleeping in the same property and his father said it was a ‘miracle’ they survived.
Police believe the house was targeted as part of a feud involving members of the Somali underworld and are treating his death as a murder.
Paying tribute to his son last night, Mr Warsame said: ‘He was a lovely boy, a beautiful child. He was so well liked at school and really worked on his education.
‘He wanted to do well in life and not make bad decisions.
‘He was so well behaved, if he saw someone dropping rubbish in the street he couldn’t understand it. He would say: “Why are they doing that?”
‘He loved swimming, he was the strongest swimmer. He didn’t like football, swimming was his sport. He loved to play tennis as well.
‘He was just a normal boy with his education ahead of him.’
The father-of-seven, a Dutch national, is now trying to get to Sweden to see his family.
But he said the authorities in the Netherlands needed a copy of the boy’s death certificate before they could issue him with travel documents.
Yuusuf was born in Birmingham and went to Nelson Mandela Primary School in Sparkhill, West Midlands.
His parents, who have Dutch passports, moved to the UK in 2001 and own the Tawfiq Halal Meat and Grocery Shop in the Small Heath, Birmingham.
Another family member said: ‘The room Yuusuf was in when the attack happened, was also occupied by our mother, sister and youngest brother.
‘It is a miracle none of them were badly injured, they only sustained minor injuries.’
The murder and attack are both believed to be part of an ongoing feud involving members of the Somali community.
A police spokesman said one of the people registered at this address is a person convicted by a district court for murder.
In March 2015, armed men burst into a pub in the Biskopsgarden neighbourhood, gunning down a man known to police and an innocent bystander in a spray of bullets.
Eight people were convicted earlier this month for the attack, and handed sentences ranging from seven years to life in prison.
According to local newspaper Goteborgs-Posten, which conducted a lengthy investigation of the vendetta, the pub shooting spree was the culmination of several violent incidents between rival gangs over the drug market.
While Sweden is generally a peaceful, safe country with low crime rates, police have had difficulty addressing violence in poorer neighbourhoods in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.
In recent years, there have been grenade attacks, shootings and incidents of car arson.
The issue has been one of the main topics of Sweden’s political debate this summer, as cars have been torched in the neighbourhoods on an almost nightly basis.
The centre-right opposition has called for 2,000 more police officers to be hired, while the leftwing government has proposed a series of crime prevention measures.