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3 killed in shootings and explosion as gangs battle in Sweden

Police stand on the site of a powerful explosion that occurred early Thursday morning Sept. 28, 2023, in a housing area in Storvreta outside Uppsala, Sweden.
Police stand on the site of a powerful explosion that occurred early Thursday morning Sept. 28, 2023, in a housing area in Storvreta outside Uppsala, Sweden. Copyright Anders Wiklund / TT/TT/TT
Copyright Anders Wiklund / TT/TT/TT
By Euronews with AP
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Two rival organised crime groups are reportedly fighting over drugs and weapons.

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Three people were killed overnight in separate incidents in Sweden as deadly violence linked to a feud between criminal gangs escalated.

Late on Wednesday, an 18-year-old man was shot dead in a Stockholm suburb. Hours later, a man was killed and another was wounded in a shooting in Jordbro, south of the Swedish capital.

And early on Thursday, a woman in her 20s died in an explosion in Uppsala, west of Stockholm.

The blast, which damaged five houses, is being treated by the police as a murder. Swedish media said the woman who died likely was not the intended victim, and that the target was the house next door.

Swedish broadcaster SVT noted that the two fatal shootings brings the death toll from gun violence in September to 11, making it the deadliest month for shootings since police started keeping statistics in 2016.

Anders Wiklund / TT/TT/TT
A police officer stands on the site of a powerful explosion that occurred early Thursday morning Sept. 28, 2023, in a housing area in Storvreta outside Uppsala, Sweden.Anders Wiklund / TT/TT/TT

It was not known whether the shootings or the blast were related to each other but Swedish media said at least two of the three events were somehow connected to a feud between criminal gangs, a growing problem in Sweden, which has seen a number of drive-by shootings and bombings in recent years.

Speaking on Thursday on Swedish TV, Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer said “it is a deeply tragic development. I understand that people feel anger, fear and sadness.”

Two gangs — one led by a Swedish-Turkish dual national who lives in Turkey, the other by his former lieutenant — are reportedly fighting over drugs and weapons.

Four people have been detained on suspicion of complicity in the fatal shooting in Jordbro. Police said that two people have been arrested over the Uppsala explosion, which was so violent that the facades of two houses were blown away.

Earlier this week, two powerful explosions ripped through dwellings in central Sweden, injuring at least three people and damaging buildings, with bricks and window sections left spread outside.

Sweden’s centre-right government has been tightening laws to tackle gang-related crime, while the head of Sweden’s police has said that warring gangs have brought an “unprecedented” wave of violence to the country.

Nils Petter Nilsson / TT/Nils Petter Nilsson/TT
Police stand on the scene after a man was shot dead and another person was injured in Jordbro, south of Stockholm, in the early hours of Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023.Nils Petter Nilsson / TT/Nils Petter Nilsson/TT

Strömmer has reiterated that Sweden will increase the penalty from three years to five years for possessing explosives without a permit when new legislation comes into effect.

Magadalena Andersson, the leader of the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, told Swedish radio that the military could help to free up police officers by carrying out some transportation and guard functions.

Strömmer said that it was “not relevant to deploy the military,” but that he was prepared to listen to all parties when it comes to solving the wave of violence.

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