Police in the Swedish capital Stockholm have said that an assault on two men in the early hours of this morning was a hate crime.

The men were attacked outside a 7-Eleven store in the city at 4.20am.

“Three men approached them saying humiliating things and then started to assault them without provocation.

“They mentioned the Pride festival and that the men were gay,” said a Stockholm police spokesperson, reports The Local.se.

Three men, aged between 17 and 20, were arrested shortly after on suspicion of carrying out the homophobic attack.

A late night attack on a gay couple on Sunday was also deemed homophobic in nature – one of the men was stabbed in the stomach.

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.