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CRIME

One arrested after police car explosion in Malmö

A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an explosion that targeted a police car in Malmö on Friday night.

One arrested after police car explosion in Malmö
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The detonation, in the Värnhem area of central Malmö, occurred at 7:25pm on Friday, causing serious damage to a police car.

Police believe their arrest to be on solid ground, with CCTV footage from the scene of the explosion having been obtained, reports TT.

A police cordon around the area has now been removed, writes the news agency.

Images from surveillance camera have been secured, and IT forensics personnel will analyse the images on Saturday.

“Based on [the surveillance images], we can say that the investigation is in a good position,” Ewa-Gun Westford, spokesperson with Region Syd (South) Police, told TT.

Westford declined to give further details of statements given by the suspect during interrogation, or of the nature of the images obtained by police. The investigation remains at an early stage, she said.

The 22-year-old suspect was apprehended by police a short distance from the scene of the incident shortly after the explosion, Malmö Police have confirmed. He was taken in by police along with a 26-year-old, initially on suspicion of criminal damage (allmänfarlig ödeläggelse). Following the examination of evidence by a police prosecutor, the 22-year was subsequently detained.

The 26-year-old was released and police currently have no reason to suspect the involvement of additional individuals.

“We have one person who was released. He was technically involved and under suspicion in the investigation, but the prognosis is that that will be lifted,” Westford said.

Sweden has seen a series of criminal acts targeting police in recent months. In November, a hand grenade was detonated outside a police station in Uppsala. In October, shots were fired at a policeman’s house in Västerås and the entrance to the police station in Helsingborg was damaged by an explosion.

Nobody was injured during any of those incidents. Nevertheless, Malmö chief of police Stefan Sintéus said they must be taken seriously.

In a written comment to TT, Sinteús described the latest attack in Malmö as a “digusting act”.

Politicians in Sweden have also condemned the incident. Interior Minister Morgan Johansson wrote in a tweet that he expects Malmö Police to “come down hard and increase pressure on criminals”.

Sinteús said that Friday’s events could be related to the success of police in combatting crime in the city. He also called for politicians to “do more than talk” in order to end the trend of anti-police violence.

“We have seen this several times, including in Malmö and Helsingborg. So it is important that police now deliver what has been promised with resources and working conditions,” the police chief wrote to TT.

READ ALSO: Police suspect they were targeted in Uppsala hand grenade revenge attack

CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

READ ALSO: 

More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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