2 explosions ripped through dwellings in Sweden

It was not known whether the blasts were related to each other

AP09_26_2023_000117A People look at the damages caused by an explosion in a residential building in the Ekholmen area, in Linkping, Sweden, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023 | AP

Two powerful explosions ripped through dwellings in central Sweden, injuring at least three people and damaging buildings, with bricks and window sections left spread outside.

  Late Monday, an explosion occurred in Hasselby, a suburb of the capital, Stockholm. In the early hours of Tuesday, a blast in Linkoping, some 175 km (110 miles) to the southwest, ripped the facade off a three-story building, leaving debris strewn across a parking area.

It was not known whether the blasts were related to each other.

Swedish radio said Tuesday that the explosion in Linkoping was connected to an ongoing feud between criminal gangs, a growing problem in Sweden with drive-by shootings and bombings. Two gangs, one led by a Swedish-Turkish dual national who lives in Turkey, the other by his former lieutenant, are reportedly fighting over drugs and weapons.

So far this year, there have been 261 shootings, 36 people have died and 73 were wounded. The count doesn't include the latest explosions.

Police said that residents in the affected area in Linkoping were evacuated to a nearby sports facility. In Hasselby, three people were taken to a hospital - their conditions were not known.

No one has been arrested in connection with the two explosions, police said.

Earlier this month, a 13-year-old boy was found shot in the head in woods not far from his home near Stockholm. A prosecutor said his death was a chilling example of gross and completely reckless gang violence.

On Sept 22, two people were killed and two wounded when a gunman opened fire in a crowded bar northwest of Stockholm. One of the dead, a 20-year-old man, was the shooter's likely target, police said, while the other three were believed to be bystanders.

The motive remained unclear. Police said the shooting could possibly be part of a local personal conflict and there was some uncertainty whether it was connected to the ongoing feud.

Sweden's centre-right government has been tightening laws to tackle gang-related crime, while the head of Sweden's police said earlier this month that warring gangs had brought an unprecedented wave of violence to the Scandinavian country. (AP)   SCY SCY 09261433

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