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CRIME

10-year-old girl stabbed in the throat at school

A 10-year-old girl had her throat slashed with a knife outside a school in Gothenburg in western Sweden on Monday morning, according to police.

10-year-old girl stabbed in the throat at school

The attack, which occurred outside the Bergsgård school in the Hjällbo district northwest of central Gothenburg, left the girl seriously wounded.

She was taken to Östra Hospital with the knife still in her throat, according to a statement from police, and was later moved to Sahlgrenska Hospital.

Emergency services received a call about the stabbing at 9.51am on Monday morning.

“The patient was loaded into the ambulance at twelve minutes past ten,” Jack Söderberg, a shift leader with the emergency service operator SOS Alarm, told the TT news agency.

According to police spokesperson Björ Blixter, the girl is conscious and told police she had never seen her attacker before.

“We’ve been able to talk to her. There’s nothing to indicate that the injuries are life threatening, but she’s still seriously wounded,” he told the Expressen newspaper.

Police are also speaking to family members and acquaintances in hopes of coming up with a possible motive for the attack.

“We don’t have any motive at the moment,” Blixter told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Later on Monday, police hinted that they couldn’t rule out that the incident may have been the result of some sort of accident.

Police spokesperson Mats Haake told the TT news agency there were conflicting witness reports about what happened and that it was “unclear” whether the stabbing was indeed a crime.

“We’re trying to collect information in order to figure things out,” he said.

According to police, there are no known threats against the girl or her family.

The perpetrator is believed to be a male in his twenties and remains at large.

He may have also been caught on film.

“There are surveillance cameras in the area and we’re now gathering footage from them,” Blixter told DN.

The area where the attack occurred has been cordoned off pending a forensic investigation.

Police have classified the incident, which was witnessed by several people, as attempted manslaughter.

Following the attack, shaken parents and students gathered at the school.

“This is a quiet area,” one parent told the TT news agency.

The school sits between two six-storey apartment buildings and a wooded area in Hjällbo.

Monday’s stabbing is the latest in a string of recent knife attacks at schools in Sweden.

In mid-December, 1 19-year-old was seriously injured after being stabbed several times in connection with a fight at the Österänggymnasiet in Kristianstad in southern Sweden. Two men were arrested following the incident.

A few weeks earlier, a 17-year-old student was cut with a knife while entering a high school in Vallentuna in suburban Stockholm.

The boy was seriously injured in the attack and remained sedated for several days.

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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