‘Attack Against Our Democracy’: Bombing of Swedish Police Station ‘May Be Terror’

Swedish Police
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The front of a police station in Helsingborg, Sweden, was demolished by explosives shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, an incident which has been called an attack on democracy by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

Approximately one kilogram of explosives destroyed the front entrance to a local station in Helsingborg Wednesday, which also caved in windows of building across the street from the target. Despite the “very powerful explosion charge”, there were no injuries or fatalities, according to reports.

While police are in early stages of the investigation and are analysing security camera footage from the vicinity around the station, terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp has said the incident could be a terror attack, reports Swedish newspaper Expressen. Speaking to the paper, he said the motives of the attack would have to be examined, and they could “seriously destabilise political social structures or bring serious fear to the population… This only leads to more serious attacks on the judiciary and democracy.

“It may be a terrorist attack, it is a question of interpretation.”

Police spokesman Dan Eliasson said the attack was an assault on all the people of Sweden, and said the national force would be giving local Helsinborg officers all the assistance they needed in investigating the blast. He said: “This is very serious. An attack on the police is not just an attack on society but on the safety of all people.

“We now come from the national level to give our colleagues in Region South all the help needed to protect our employees.”

Eliasson’s comments came after similar ones by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who called the event an attack on democracy, reports Helsingborgs Dagblad. Speaking Wednesday morning, he said: “The bombing of a police station in Helsingborg is extremely serious. An attack on the police is, in the long run, an attack on our democracy.

“Violence against policemen can never be accepted and now it is important that those responsible be arrested. The [event] shows that we must continue and intensify the fight against the serious crime. With stricter laws, better tools, and increased resources for the police, we will fight violence and increase security.”

The bombing comes after a similar attack in 2014, when the entrance to a police station in Malmö was destroyed by a bomb. The old Rosengård police station, which was a unit in a local shopping station, was closed and replaced with a new purpose-built bomb and bulletproof fortress.

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