Three people have been confirmed dead and one injured after shootings and an explosion took place across Sweden late Wednesday and early Thursday morning. The shootings are likely linked to escalating feuding gang violence around Stockholm. The blast is still being investigated although it is the third explosion this week across central Sweden under investigation.
One shooting took place in a Stockholm suburb while the second happened hours later in a city just south.
Swedish reporters noted that these incidents brought the death toll from shootings to 11 in the month of September, the deadliest since 2016 when police began keeping statistics.
One of the gangs in question is led by a Swedish-Turkish dual national who lives in Turkey and the other by his former lieutenant. They have reportedly been embattled for months over guns and drugs.
Police chief Anders Thornberg stated that the feud was “a serious threat to the safety and security of the country” and that it has brought “unprecedented” violence to the Stockholm area as of late.
The explosion early Thursday in Uppsala, just west of Stockholm, killed a woman in her 20s. It is being treated as murder although AP News reports it is likely she was not the intended victim, but rather the house next door. Five houses were damaged in the blast and it reportedly could be felt 12 miles away.
Conservatives in the Swedish government have been moving to crack down on gang-related crime.
Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer stated, “It is a deeply tragic development. I understand that people feel anger, fear and sadness.”
He said he was open to cooperating with all parties to combat the recent surge in violence, however, it is “not relevant to deploy the military.”
In response, the Swedish government is increasing the sentence for possession of explosives without a permit from to five years from three.
Democrats in America have long used Sweden as an example to support strict gun laws.