Bomb scare empties government offices

Parts of Sweden's government offices at Rosenbad in Stockholm were evacuated on Thursday morning following the discovery of two suspicious packages, one of which was reportedly a gift from Uruguay's visiting president.

Bomb scare empties government offices

“At 10.55am a phone call came from Rosenbad to the police. They reacted to a package which they had concerns about,” Stockholm police spokesperson Ulf Lindgren told the TT news agency.

According to Lingren, a bomb squad has been dispatched to Rosenbad to inspect the package.

“The team leader on site has decided we should bring in our bomb experts to check things out and see exactly what this is,” said Lindgren.

A source told Aftonbladet the package had “wires and batteries”.

Later police learned that a similar parcel had been delivered to the nearby foreign ministry, and were preparing to block off the area around that building as well.

An area around the entrance to Rosenbad, which houses the office of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, has been cordoned off and some parts of the building have been evacuated.

“I don’t know how much, that’s a judgment made in relation to where the object is located,” said Lindgren.

He had no information about what sort of package was at the centre of the scare.

“They do a more thorough checks there than they do at other places. They’ve obviously reacted to something in this package, but I don’t know what exactly,” said Lindgren.

Justice minister Beatrice Ask was in her office at the time and Ask was among those evacuated from the building.

However, hadn’t received any specific information about what had happened.

Reinfeldt, meanwhile, was informed of the incident while he was speaking at an event hosted by the Unionen labour union group in Upplans Väsby north of Stockholm.

During the afternoon, the package was taken away by the bomb squad for further investigation and the cordons around Rosenbad were lifted.

Lindgren said no threats had been received and at least the Rosenbad parcel had been hand delivered and the sender was known, which indicated there was little chance the contents were actually dangerous.

“But all such items need to be treated as dangerous until the opposite has been proven,” he stressed.

He could not say where the packages came from or if they were from the same sender, but a report from daily Expressen’s online edition hinted at an interesting twist: at least one could be a gift from Uruguay’s visiting president, Jose Mujica.

The packages were distributed during a meeting with trade minister Ewa Björling, in violation of security procedures.

When the packages were then scanned on Thursday, they were revealed to contain electronic devices, prompting the bomb scare, Expressen reported.

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Denmark suspects two Swedes over explosion at tax authority

Two Swedish citizens are suspected in connection with last week’s explosion at the Danish Tax Agency. One of the two is in police custody.

Denmark suspects two Swedes over explosion at tax authority
Copenhagen Police superintendent Jørgen Bergen Skov addresses the press. Photo: Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix

Copenhagen Police superintendent Jørgen Bergen Skov confirmed the arrests to press on Wednesday morning.

“Both individuals are suspected of carrying out the detonation at the Tax Agency,” Skov said.

One man, aged 22, was arrested in Swedish city Malmö on Tuesday and will be extradited to Denmark. Once he reaches Copenhagen he will appear for preliminary court proceedings, which the prosecution will request take place behind closed doors.

Swedish newspaper Kvällsposten reports the 22-year-old has no previous criminal convictions in the country.

The second man, a 23-year-old, is yet to be detained but an international arrest warrant for him has been issued, Skov said.

“During the night, we also searched several addresses in Sweden. We hereby confiscated what we believe to be a car used by the suspects,” he said.

“We have one suspect on the loose, which means we must be careful about what we say, out of consideration for the investigation,” he added.

The superintendent did not add any detail about how police were able to connect the two individuals to the August 6th explosion.

Skov also stressed that police do not believe the tax authority blast to be connected to a similar incident at a police station in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro neighbourhood in the early hours of Saturday.

“There is nothing to suggest (a connection),” he said.