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Malmö shaken by another grenade attack

Malmö in southern Sweden was last night hit by a fourth hand grenade attack in under a week – just 48 hours after another explosion rocked residents in a series of blasts in Sweden's third largest city this summer.

Malmö shaken by another grenade attack
Police inspecting a vehicle at the crime site. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT.

The hand grenade detonated in a car park in the Malmö district of Värnhem early on Sunday morning.

The incident, which caused damage to dozens of cars but no injuries, was different from previous blasts, according to police.

“Many of the other grenade attacks seemed to be aimed at government buildings,” a police spokesman told Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet.

“But in the area around this detonation site there are private residences, business premises and government agencies. Therefore, the goal of the blast is unclear at present,” the spokesman concluded.

Police found part of a hand grenade at the site and bomb technicians have been on site to investigate further. The hand grenade seems to have exploded in a van, according to Swedish news agency, TT.

The police are checking the ownership of the damaged cars to see if any of the owners have links to the criminal world.

This was the fourth grenade attack of the week in Malmö. Council offices were targeted on Friday in Hålsjögatan, while on Thursday several cars and homes were damaged after a hand grenade was thrown at a building in a residential area of Limhamn in western parts of the city, just two days after a blast outside a community centre destroyed two cars and injured one man.

Malmö police chief Stefan Sintéus said that he believed both Tuesday's and Thursday's attacks were linked to a case which saw three young men sentenced for their roles in a bombing in the Rosengård area – which has a reputation for violence and gang related crimes – on Christmas Eve.

“This is about a few people who are having a dispute with one another and are in a spiral of retaliation,” he told the TT news agency on Thursday.

Yesterday Sintéus admitted that he had asked for help from the national police in an effort to stem the violence.

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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