Stockhom sees record number of bombings last year

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Stockholm (Photo: Wikimedia/Benoit Derrier)

By: V4 Agency

Authorities in Stockholm registered 30 explosions and 32 bombing attempts between January and late November last year. Swedish police say this a new record, adding that they have never seized as many explosive devices as in 2020.

This qualifies as an extreme threat and causes tremendous uncertainty in the affected areas, which makes us treat these investigations a top priority, Stephan Kiernan, head of the intelligence unit in northern Stockholm said.

News reports have revealed that in most cases the bombings can be linked to different criminal groups. Mr. Kiernan also explained that restrictions and closures due to the coronavirus pandemic make it difficult to smuggle drugs and weapons into the country. This means criminal gangs have fewer and fewer options and opportunities, even though the number of drug-dealing and gun-running groups has not seen a decline, which caused additional tensions.

Investigating explosions is highly complicated, because the detonations tend to destroy all the evidence, he added.

Between 1 January and 18 December of last year, police seized a total of 370 kilos of explosives, 29 hand grenades, nearly 300 pistols and revolvers and 70 automatic guns.  Still, a record number of explosions were carried out last year.

The number of bombings is on a steady rise not just in the capital, but also across the whole country. In the first eight months of 2020, 51 detonations were carried out, of which 41 took place in residential areas.

Back in August a staffer at the centre for the investigation and detection of explosions reported that the number of explosions and bombings had seen on a steep rise since 2014. In other European countries, there’s nothing like this, the expert said.

Last Friday saw a bomb go off around a block of flats in Brandbergen, a suburb in the south of Stockholm. Police were alerted by locals after the massive blast. Officers arrested a 45-year-old man and seized a homemade pipe bomb found in his apartment.

According to Aftonbladet, a younger man who ran into some debts following a drug purchase, may also be involved. This, however, was not confirmed during his interrogation and his lawyers insisted he is simply an individual who “likes to make and detonate explosives.”

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