Two people were killed and two others wounded in a shooting at a bar northwest of Stockholm, police said Friday, in the latest outbreak of deadly violence in Sweden.
In a statement, police said a man in his 20s and another in his 70s died on Friday from injuries sustained in the shooting late Thursday at a pub in Sandviken about 100 miles northwest of Stockholm.
“We suspect that one person was targeted and that the other three were at the scene for various reasons, but had nothing to do with it,” spokesman Magnus Jansson Klarin told Swedish news agency TT. He added that the suspected target was among the two who died. No arrests have been made, police said. It was not known if the others were patrons or pub staff.
“It’s bad enough that gangs are shooting each other to death, but when completely innocent people end up in the line of fire, it’s absolutely horrible,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson said, according to TT.
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On its Facebook page, the pub said it would be closed until the weekend.
Warring criminal gangs have become a growing problem in Sweden, with increasing numbers of shootings, bombings and grenade attacks. So far this year, there have been 261 shootings, 36 people have died and 73 have been injured.
Earlier this month, a 13-year-old boy was found shot in the head in the woods near his home near Stockholm. Prosecutor Lisa dos Santos said Thursday that his death was a chilling example of “gross and completely reckless gang violence.”
The violence is fueled by a drug and weapons dispute between two gangs, led by a Turkish-Swedish double living in Turkey and his former lieutenant.
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 Scandinavian country.