Two powerful explosions rocked homes in central Sweden, injuring at least three people and damaging buildings, with bricks and parts of windows flying out.
Late Monday, an explosion occurred in Hasselby, a suburb of the capital, Stockholm. Early Tuesday, an explosion in Linkoping, about 110 miles to the southwest, tore through the facade of a three-story building, leaving debris strewn across a parking lot.
It is not known if the explosions are related.
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Swedish radio reported on Tuesday that the blast in Linkoping was linked to a feud between criminal gangs, a growing problem in Sweden with shootings and bombings. Two gangs – one led by a Swedish-Turkish dual citizen living in Turkey and the other by his former lieutenant – are said to be fighting over drugs and weapons.
So far this year, there have been 261 shootings, 36 people have died and 73 have been injured. The count does not include the latest eruptions.
Police said residents in the affected area in Linkoping were taken to a nearby sports facility. In Hasselby, three people were taken to hospital. Their condition was not known.
No one has been arrested, police said.
After the explosions, the Swedish government said it would hold a meeting to identify measures that can be implemented quickly. Sweden’s justice and civil defense ministers, Gunnar Strömmer and Carl-Oskar Bohlin, will participate along with other authorities, including representatives of the Nordic country’s municipalities and regions.
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“We are now bringing together all relevant factors to jointly determine what can be done in the short and long term,” Stromer told Swedish news agency TT.
“Criminals’ access to explosives must be cut off,” Bohlin told the Expressen newspaper.
Earlier this month, a 13-year-old boy was found shot in the head in woods near his home near Stockholm. A prosecutor said his death was a chilling example of “gross and completely reckless gang violence”.
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On September 22, two people were killed and two wounded when a gunman opened fire in a busy bar northwest of Stockholm. One of the dead, a 20-year-old man, was a possible target of the shooter, police said, while the other three were believed to be bystanders. The motive remained unclear. Police said the shooting could possibly be part of a local personal conflict, and there was some uncertainty if it was connected to the ongoing feud.
Sweden’s centre-right government has tightened laws to tackle gang-related crime, while Sweden’s police chief said earlier this month that warring gangs had brought an “unprecedented” wave of violence to the country.