Sweden, often held up as a safe and peaceful utopia, has experienced an unprecedented wave of bombings this year as criminal gangs increasingly use explosives to settle scores.
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 Anders Thornberg said 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 Malmo 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 flats in Hassleholm in southern Sweden.