The number of hand grenade attacks in Sweden has risen by 550 per cent in just three years, with police describing the situation as “completely unacceptable”.
Police data shows that in 2014 the Swedish force investigated eight grenade incidents, none of which involved a detonation.
But last year this figure inflated by a massive 550 per cent, as officers saw a total of 52 grenade-related incidents, 27 of which involved detonations.
At first, the grenade attacks were mostly directed at cars and homes linked to criminals and their relatives — but from two years ago perpetrators began to target the nation’s “society and state”, an expert at Sweden’s National Police Department told SVT.
Grenade attacks commonplace in Malmo https://t.co/PnFVAQGbAv
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“One very worrying trend we’ve noticed is that from 2015, we started to see people throwing grenades at municipal buildings, police stations and police officers,” he said, lamenting how, as the number of attacks has increased, so has the number of people who have been injured.
“[Criminals] may have mistakenly targeted the wrong address, which has resulted in attacks on innocent families who have children, and there have been grenades hidden at kids’ playgrounds.
“There have been a number of cases in which grenades have been found by children, and it is rather surprising to us that there haven’t been more deaths,” the expert added.
According to Peter Hejdström, head of police investigation in Halmstad, the explosives — which are typically thrown by hand — are not a problem that is restricted to the big cities, as the widespread availability of grenades in Sweden means even rural areas have been affected.
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Describing the number of grenade attacks as a “completely unacceptable situation for Sweden”, an expert at NOA who wished to remain anonymous said, adding: “We are very serious about the problem.”
He told SVT: “It is impossible to say whether there are more grenade attacks in Sweden than in other European countries,” an expert at NOA who wished to remain anonymous told SVT.
“But you could say that the weapons are used here in a way that you do not see them used in any other country in Europe. We differ a lot in that regard.”
According to police, the majority of the grenades originate from former Yugoslavian countries, with the M75 and M52 being the models most frequently seen.
A eight-year-old British citizen was killed last year while visiting family in the town of Gothenburg, when a hand grenade was tossed into the living room where he was sleeping.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 9, 2015
In September, Breitbart London reported on how a migrant who fled the Somali Civil War 20 years ago said he was considering moving back to his homeland because Sweden has become a “war zone”.
Interviewed at a secret location, Dame said he and his family are on the run from criminal gangs that now rule the Gothenburg suburbs, telling Norwegian public broadcaster NRK: “It’s like a war zone. We do not know who gets shot. Bullets can hit you anywhere.”
And former soldiers now working in the police bomb disposal unit of Malmö, where 43 per cent of inhabitants have foreign backgrounds, have said the constant grenade attacks in Sweden’s third largest city remind them of the years they served in war-torn regions of Iraq.