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Sweden gangs: Army to assist police following spike in homicides

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson announced that the Swedish army is stepping in to support police in the fight against a recent surge of gang killings.

He said starting next week, the military will begin providing analytical and logistical support, as well as explosives disposal and forensic work.

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Mr Kristersson added that Swedish law also needed to be updated to allow for greater military involvement.

So far this month, 12 people have died in gang violence in the country.

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This is the highest number since December 2019, according to Dagens Nyheter newspaper. On Wednesday night alone, two young men were shot dead in Stockholm and a woman – who police said had no links to organized crime – was killed in an explosion at her home about 10 miles from the capital. 50 miles north.

The 24-year-old woman, named by local media as Soha Saad, was a newly qualified teacher and believed to be a neighbor of the blast target.

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Kristersson made the announcement after crisis talks on Friday with Swedish army chief Micael Biden, police chief Anders Thornberg and Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer.

He added that the government would ask the military to support the police “in case the specialized skills of the armed forces could be useful”.

“It could be a few things:
explosives and helicopter logistics support, analytical skills… Computer forensic analysis.

The Prime Minister added that the country’s current laws need to be changed to deal with “gray zone situations where it is unclear what type of threat Sweden faces”.
Swedish media have linked the recent increase in deaths to a conflict involving a gang known as the Foxtrot network, which has been rocked by infighting and split into two rival factions. enemy.

On Thursday, Kristersson said Sweden had never seen anything like it before and “no other country in Europe” had encountered this situation.

Children and innocent bystanders are increasingly becoming victims of this violence, he emphasized.

Last year, more than 60 people died in shootings in Sweden – the highest number ever recorded – and this year the toll looks set to be even greater, if not worse. An official government report released in 2021 indicated that 4 people per million die in shootings in Sweden each year, compared with 1.6 people per million in Europe.

Police say the violence is linked to poor integration of immigrants, the growing gap between rich and poor and drug use.

Mr. Kristersson’s centre-right minority government, which came to power last year with the support of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, has so far failed to stop the violence.

He pledged to move towards stricter surveillance, tougher penalties for breaches of gun laws, stronger deportation powers and stop and search zones – with an emphasis on the fact that ” Everything has been considered.”

Some critics argue that these measures do not address underlying social problems such as child poverty and underfunding of community services.

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