- Jul 2011
Sweden's police chief Anders Thornberg, right, with the head of the national criminal intelligence unit, Linda Staaf. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT
Much more: Swedish police chief: No international equivalent to Sweden's wave of bombingsSweden's sees 'no equivalent internationally' to its wave of bombings this year, national police chief Anders Thornberg said as he addressed public concern about the increasing use of explosives by criminal gangs.
Regularly placed near the top of the UN's Human Development Index and among the world's richest countries in terms of GDP per capita, the Scandinavian country is facing an unusual challenge as bombings become a regular occurrence.
"We see no equivalent internationally," Swedish police commissioner Thornberg said on Wednesday, addressing public concern about the escalating violence.
"I understand that many people are worried about what is happening, there's a sense that the criminals' vendettas are creeping closer to the general public," he said.
In the past week alone, a bomb exploded in a stairwell in a Malmö apartment building, an explosive device was found outside a shopping centre in the southern town of Kristianstad, and a blast rocked the balcony at a block of apartments in Hässleholm in southern Sweden.
While few of the blasts have caused serious injuries, the national bomb squad has been called out to investigate around 100 explosions in the first 10 months of the year.
That's more than double the number for the same period last year. In addition, more than 70 undetonated devices have been investigated.
"You have to conclude that this has become a trend, one that is escalating," Linda Staaf, head of the national police's criminal intelligence unit, told AFP.
Apartment buildings, small businesses and police stations have been targeted.
The bombs have varied in size, with some the equivalent of large fireworks while others have been larger: in June a blast ripped apart the facade of two apartment buildings in the town of Linköping.
I suppose the gangs resort to home made explosives, because guns are harder to obtain over there...
Basic firebombs and such are not even that difficult to make, really; I know in Russia even bloody teenage gangbangers blow up each others' cars and such on occasion haha