Gang violence: Sweden breaks record for number of bomb attacks

TT/The Local
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Gang violence: Sweden breaks record for number of bomb attacks
An explosion at a house in Kungsängen, north of Stockholm, on October 5th. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Gang violence in Sweden continues to blight the country with the number of bomb attacks so far this year having already broken the yearly record, according to new figures from the police.


As of October 15th, 138 blasts had been recorded across the country.

Taking into account a further blast on October 23rd in Enskededalen, southern Stockholm, Sweden has seen 139 attacks using explosives this year, six more than the previous record year in 2019.

Sweden has been hit by a wave of bombings over recent years, which police have linked to gang conflicts in major cities. The police have kept a record of bomb attacks since 2018.


Another change for 2023 is that Stockholm had more explosions than anywhere else (45). In previous years, the highest number of blasts occurred in the southern police region, which covers Skåne, Blekinge, Kalmar and Kronoberg, with Stockholm usually in second place.

An ongoing gang conflict, between Foxtrot leader Rawa Majid and his former right-hand man Ismail Abdo, has resulted in a recent spate of violence particularly in Stockholm and Uppsala, targeting even relatives who are not themselves involved in gang crime – or in some cases killing the wrong target entirely.


The conflict has already led to September being Sweden’s deadliest month in terms of fatal shootings since December 2019. Eleven people were shot dead in September.

"There have recently been murders and explosions on an unprecedented scale," police chief Anders Thornberg told a press conference in mid-September.


After a government crisis meeting on September 27th, Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer called for a number of measures to cut the supply of explosives to criminals.

"This spring, the minimum penalty for illegal handling of explosives will be doubled, but more needs to be done to prevent explosions," he said. "That is why we are meeting with all the relevant groups to identify what can be done in the short and long term."

"Not a single stick of dynamite will end up in the wrong hands," Civil Defence Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin said.


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