A gun as evidence (Photo by Marcel Burger)

The wave of gang violence in Sweden has become that severe, that the Swedish Prime Minister has called several to a crisis meeting. The news comes after 10 days of shootings and stabbings in Stockholm and Uppsala that left a total of eight people dead.

It all started with what looks like revenge, a 60-year-old mother of a known gang member was shot and killed in her home in Uppsala on 7 September. On 12 September the 25-year-old Mogos Amanuel Tesfamariam was shot in a staircase in Uppsala, on his way to work in an elderly care home. He was likely an innocent victim, as on the same address of the apartment complex a family member to the gang leader Rawa M., known as “Kurdish fox”, lives. Also on 12 September a 20-year-old man was shot and killed in Helenelund in Stockholm suburb Sollentuna.

“Kurdish fox”

What follows is a death by violence every day, possible connected to the vendetta between the “Kurdish fox” and other gangs. On 13 September a 19-year-old teenager is shot and killed on the streets of the Vasastan in Stockholm; on 14 September a teenage boy is murdered in Västertorp in Southern Stockholm, and on 16 September a 40-year-old man is shot in Råcksta in Western Stockholm and dies soon after. On 17 September a 20-year-old was shot and severely wounded in Huskvarna, much further south.

More shootings

Two more shootings have been reported in the Stenhagen area of Uppsala, and in the Hageby area of Norrköping. These are likely linked to the other shootings. Moreover, a 13-year-old boy was found murdered in the Stockholm suburb of Hanninge, which might be linked to a gang conflict. This happened on 13 September. In the night from 15 to 16 September, a 20-year-old was stabbed to death in an apartment in Hisingen, Gothenburg, for which police quickly arrested four people.

Swedish government in crisis meeting

The Swedish government hopes that a crisis meeting in the coming week with the Council against Organized Crime, the State’s Institutions Authority (SiS), the Social services (Socialstyrelsen), the Schools’ Authority (Skolverket) and the organisation of Swedish municipalities and regions (SKR), together with the police and justice representatives, will help in setting up a plan or taskforce to do something about the wave of violence.

The Turkish connection

The gang violence in Sweden has a clear link with criminal networks in Turkey, including the one of the “Kurdish fox”. The Swedish prosecutor office reported on Friday that a total of six Swedish citizens have been arrested in Turkey in connection with the shootings. Even a shooting in Maslak in Istanbul has been linked to the gang war.

2022 was the darkest year

Although 2023 looks pretty bad so far in shootings in Sweden, last year hold the record. According to the statistics of the Swedish official crime statistics (e.g. from Brottsförebyggande rådet, BRA), 60 people lost their lives in shootings in 2022, while 104 were wounded. So far in 2023 at least 37 were killed, and 78 wounded with today’s shooting in Huskvarna included. Most of the gun violence is in the more crowded southern third of Sweden (from Malmö to Uppsala). Incidents north of Gävle/Sandviken are rare. | © 2023 Marcel Burger, nordicreporter.com (text and photo)