Police in Stockholm have said that an attack on two gay men late last night is being investigated as a hate crime.

“Two homosexual men were stopped by three men and asked directions,” Stockholm police spokeswoman Towe Haegg told AFP.

“The three asked them about their sexuality and then stole their mobile phones and money.

“One of them was then stabbed in the stomach.”

The couple, who are 25 and 30, were targeted because they are gay, the police added.

17,000 people are in the Swedish capital for EuroPride 2008.

The ‘Swedish Sin, Breaking Borders’ themed event has attracted members of the LGBT community from across the world.

Europride began on Friday at the Skansen open-air museum with a popular sing-along event.

Over ten days, there will be special film screenings, museum exhibitions, seminars and parties.

There will be special appearances by Sweden’s EU Affairs Minister Cecilia Malmstrom, Indian Prince Mavendra Singh Gohil and gender science professor Tiina Rosenberg.

More than 100,000 are expected to take part in the parade on Saturday. There will be gay choirs, teacher’s unions, political parties, emergency services and even gay allotment gardeners.

The Swedish fire brigade will be at the parade for the first time.

The 2006 EuroPride parade in London attracted 500,000 spectators.