Under huge strain from an influx of unaccompanied children seeking asylum, the Swedish government faces political pressure to undertake medical tests like X-rays to vet the age of young refugees despite opposition from doctors and lawyers.

The controversy reflects tensions over surging immigration into the Nordic country of 10 million after a public backlash that saw controls reimposed on the border with Denmark, from which most migrants have entered Sweden.

Sweden took in 163,000 asylum seekers last year, the most per capita in Europe. They were among more than one million who streamed into the continent, fleeing increasing conflict and deprivation in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

More than a fifth, 35,000, of those reaching Sweden have been unaccompanied children, stretching services like schools.

Reports of violence and assaults at centers for minors have added to the public disquiet and hardened anti-immigrant sentiment in a country long renowned for its humanitarian open-door policy towards the wretched of the earth.


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