Deadly violence continues in Sweden. 3 people killed in overnight shootings and an explosion

Police stand on the site of a powerful explosion that occurred early Thursday morning Sept. 28, 2023, in a housing area in Storvreta outside Uppsala, Sweden. A 25-year-old woman died in the blast. (Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency via AP)

By The Associated Press

Three people were killed overnight in separate incidents in Sweden as deadly violence linked to a feud between criminal gangs escalated.

Late Wednesday, an 18-year-old man was shot dead in a Stockholm suburb. Hours later, a man was killed and another was wounded in a shooting in Jordbro, south of the Swedish capital.

Early Thursday a woman in her 20s died in an explosion in Uppsala, west of Stockholm. The blast, which damaged five houses, is being treated by the police as a murder. Swedish media said the woman who died likely was not the target.

Swedish broadcaster SVT noted that the two fatal shootings brings the death toll from gun violence in September to 11, making it the deadliest month for shootings since police started keeping statistics in 2016.

It was not known whether the shootings or the blast were related to each other but Swedish media said at least two of the three events were somehow connected to a 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.

Three people have been detained, suspected of complicity in the fatal shooting in Jordbro. Police said that two people have been arrested over the Uppsala explosion, which was so violent that the facades of two houses were blown away.

Earlier this week, 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.

Sweden’s center-right government has been tightening laws to tackle gang-related crime, while the head of Sweden’s police has said that warring gangs have brought an “unprecedented” wave of violence to the country.

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer reiterated that Sweden will increase the penalty from three years to five years for possessing explosives without a permit as of April 1 when a new legislation enters into force.