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Swedish teenager arrested after police officer shot dead in Gothenburg

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By Euronews  with AFP
A minute of silence was held on the Stortorget square in Malmo on Thursday.
A minute of silence was held on the Stortorget square in Malmo on Thursday.   -   Copyright  ANDREAS HILLERGREN / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP

A 17-year-old Swedish man has been arrested for fatally shooting a police officer in Gothenburg.

Several officers were on patrol in the rough suburb of Biskopsgården on Wednesday evening, when one was reportedly hit by a bullet.

A 30-year-old officer died of his injuries in hospital later that night, according to the initial investigation.

It is the first time an active police officer has been shot dead in Sweden in 14 years.

The suspect, who denies the allegations, was arrested on Friday and has been charged with murder and attempted murder.

"He is a young person of 17 years old and is involved in a conflict environment," said prosecutor Ulrika Aberg said at a press conference.

Klas Johansson, police chief of the Western Region, had previously stated that it was "too early" to say whether the police were the target of the attack.

Swedish caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has expressed outrage over the killing, calling it an "attack on our open society".

"We will never back down in the struggle against organised crime," he told a news conference on Thursday. A national minute of silence was also held in honour of the murdered official.

Sweden has for years faced a serious problem of gang-related violence, which has resulted in a high number of fatal shootings in the Nordic country.

In 2020, there were more than 360 incidents involving firearms in Sweden, with a record 47 deaths and 117 injuries, police say.

According to the Swedish Council for Crime Prevention, the number of victims has more than doubled in a decade, now accounting for almost 40% of violent deaths in Sweden.

The last time an on-duty police officer was killed as a result of violence was in 2007 in the town of Nyköping, when a convicted murderer was being transferred to a psychiatric clinic, according to Swedish public radio.