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Arson suspected in Gävle hotel blaze

A suspected arson attack sparked a huge fire in a hotel in the central Swedish town of Gävle early on Tuesday, injuring four people, Swedish police have said.

“It’s very probable that this is a case of arson… A fire broke out in exactly the same spot the day before, but was discovered quickly and was easily brought under control,” local police spokesman Lars Hansson told AFP.

The fire started just after 1:00 am (2300 GMT on Monday) in the CH restaurant and quickly spread to the adjoining Scandic hotel, according to police.

All 142 residents of the hotel were evacuated, as were about 25 residents of a nearby apartment building.

“Four people were taken to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, including a 10-year-old child, but none of them were seriously injured. One person remains in hospital for observation,” Hansson said, adding that the fire was still raging.

“It is very difficult and it is not under control. The firefighters thought they had brought the fire under control earlier, but then it picked up speed again,” he said, adding that several fire departments from surrounding communities had been called in to help put out the blaze. AFP

ALMEDALEN 2022

Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden. 

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