Three persons were slain in separate events in Sweden overnight as lethal violence tied to a criminal gang war erupted. An 18-year-old man was shot dead in a Stockholm suburb late Wednesday. A man was killed and another was injured in a shooting in Jordbro, south of Stockholm, hours later.
An explosion in Uppsala, west of Stockholm, killed a lady in her twenties early Thursday. The police are treating the bomb, which damaged five residences, as a homicide. According to Swedish media, the woman who died was most likely not the intended victim.
The two deadly shootings boost the death toll from gun violence in September to 11, making it the bloodiest month for shootings since police began tracking statistics in 2016.
It was unclear whether the gunshots or the explosion were connected, but Swedish media reported that at least two of the three crimes were linked to a dispute between criminal gangs, an increasing problem in Sweden with drive-by shootings and bombs.
Two gangs are reportedly fighting over narcotics and firearms, one commanded by a Swedish-Turkish dual national who lives in Turkey and the other by his former lieutenant.
Three people have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the tragic shooting in Jordbro. Two people have been arrested in connection with the Uppsala explosion, which was so powerful that the facades of two houses were blasted away.
Two massive explosions swept through homes in central Sweden earlier this week, hurting at least three people and destroying houses, with stones and window parts left scattered outside.
Sweden’s center-right government has tightened rules to combat gang-related crime, while the country’s police chief has stated that warring gangs have unleashed a “unprecedented” wave of bloodshed.
Earlier this week, Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer reaffirmed that Sweden will increase the penalty for possessing explosives without a permission from three to five years beginning of April 1, when new legislation takes effect.
Meanwhile, President Erdogan indicated on Tuesday that Turkey will accept Sweden’s NATO candidature provided the US honours its pledge to supply F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, after previously claiming that the sale of the fighter jets had nothing to do with membership.
Erdogan’s startling declaration came only days after a corruption scandal involving a top US senator who has opposed selling F-16 jet aircraft to Turkey surfaced.
President Erdogan indicated on Tuesday that Turkey will accept Sweden’s NATO candidature provided the US honours its pledge to supply F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, after previously claiming that the sale of the fighter jets had nothing to do with membership.
Although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier stated that the sale of the fighter jets had nothing to do with Sweden’s NATO membership or Ankara’s permission, it now appears that this was not the case.
“If the US keeps its promises, our parliament will keep its promises,” Erdogan told reporters on his way back from Azerbaijan, where he met with President Ilham Aliyev.
Erdogan also stated that during last week’s UN summit in New York, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed Sweden’s NATO request.
On the same day, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told SVT Nyheter that he anticipated Sweden to join NATO when the Turkish parliament reconvened this autumn. He also anticipated he would be able to communicate with Erdogan.
Since Sweden and Finland filed for NATO membership last year, Turkey has been a fierce opponent of Stockholm’s desire to join the alliance, using every means at its disposal to stall and profit from the process.