An explosion in a residential building in the city of Norrköping, 160 kilometres from Stockholm, has left several people wounded, prompting the evacuation of another eleven.
The bomb was placed on the second floor of a multi-storey house, shattering several windows in what witnesses described as “raining glass” when recounting the event to Aftonbladet daily. A fire also broke out, but was subsequently extinguished.
Sweden's national bomb protection squad was summoned to the scene, and the incident is being investigated as an attempt at murder or an act of general destruction. Police spokeswoman Åsa Willsund said that the explosive charge detonated in the stairwell.
A suspect was subsequently arrested near the crime scene with injuries that were believed to have been caused in connection with the explosion.
The blast occurred in the district of Hageby; the neighbourhood was included in Sweden's list of vulnerable areas (aka no-go zones, whose existence the Swedish government denies), but was removed in the summer of 2019.
National broadcaster SVT linked the bombing to an ongoing gang war between No Surrender MC and the Bandidos Sphere; a shootout between the two rivals occurred outside a nightclub on 5 December, leaving two dead. One of the shootout victims had a strong connection to the site of the explosion.
Flera lindrigt skadade efter explosion i bostadshus i Norrköping: ”Det var en kraftig smäll” https://t.co/g7FIhlS8lX— Aftonbladet (@Aftonbladet) January 22, 2020
SVT also surmised that the double murder and the Norrköping bombing are linked to last summer's blasts in the cities of Linköping and Örebro.
“And then it is clearly a continuation of the ongoing gang war. Explosives are not used by the criminals for fun. According to the experience, mainly from last year's over 250 bombings across the country, the bombs are used to threaten, intimidate, punish. And of course to take revenge”, investigative journalist Joakim Palmkvist said, calling the development “dangerous” as third parties, such as innocent neighbours and others have their lives endangered as well.
According to Aftonbladet, a high-profile member of No Surrender was targeted by the blast.
“I think it's terrible, but hardly surprising. Explosives are being used throughout the country in a new way, but it is tragic that this is happening here”, opposition councillor Sofia Jarl of the Moderate Party told SVT, stressing that the Social Democratic government has totally failed in the security of the country.
This week alone, Stockholm was hit by major twin blast in the districts of Husby and Kista, which miraculously claimed no lives. Just over a week ago, one of the most powerful explosions ever happened in Stockholm's Östermalm neighbourhood – again resulting in no injuries but causing extensive material damage.
The number of reported explosions in Sweden increased sharply last year compared to the previous years. In 2018, 162 explosions occurred throughout Sweden. In 2019, 257 were recorded, according to the nation's Crime Prevention Council.
It is not going well with the explosion in Sweden, or actually it is for the perks detonating the stuff. Of the 257 devices set off in 2019 (2018: 162) the police managed to only solve the crime in 10% of the cases. #explosionssweden #sweden #crime #gangwar— The Nordic Reporter (@nordicreporter) January 17, 2020