Sweden: Army takes to the streets against immigrant gangs (VID)

Prime Minister's dramatic message - Unprecedented crime boom - Explosions, robberies and murders in the country with the once more relaxed integration policies

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Today, Sweden is on the brink of historic decisions, whose government is preparing to deploy the army in the battle against gangs that, driven by areas with large immigrant populations, have sent crime in the country skyrocketing.

Police have linked the violence to her poor integration of immigrants, the widening gap between rich and poor and drug use.

Specifically, a meeting with the head of its Armed Forces Sweden the prime minister of the country will have today, with defining the role of the military in dealing with the recent upsurge in gang violence. At the meeting that will be held by Ulf Christerson with the chief of the armed forces Michael Biden the Chief of Police will also attend, according to the BBC.

As the British network recalls, the meeting is taking place amid great concern over the wave of violence that is plaguing Sweden and is now causing daily victims.

This unprecedented wave of violence is linked to the war between criminal gangs for control of drug trafficking. It has for weeks rocked the country, which has been struggling to stop these explosions – often aimed at intimidating rival gang members and their relatives – and near-daily fatal shootings.

In accordance with Associated Press, these gangs often recruit teenagers from poor immigrant neighborhoods to carry out their attacks.

It is recalled that three people were recently killed in shootings and explosions in less than 24 hours in the country, with the situation described as unprecedented by the authorities and Christerson himself. According to public broadcaster SVT, 12 people died in shootings and explosions in September, which was the deadliest month in four years.

One of the victims was a woman in her 20s who died in an explosion in Uppsala, north of Stockholm. Swedish media reported that he was probably not the target of the attack. An 18-year-old rapper was killed late Wednesday in a shooting outside a sports complex.

Earlier this week, two powerful explosions demolished houses in towns in central Sweden, injuring at least three people and causing damage. Criminal gangs often recruit teenagers from poor immigrant neighborhoods to carry out hits.

It is not yet clear what the role of the military will be in the framework of the new measures that will come into force to fight crime, but in the past the proposal has been put on the table for the armed forces to take on some surveillance duties, so that more police officers are available for anti-gang operations.

"We will hunt down the gangs and defeat them" said the Swedish prime minister in a rare televised address. In a speech on Thursday, Prime Minister Ulf Christerson announced plans to expand the army. «Sweden has never seen anything like this, no other country in Europe has seen anything like this» emphasized the Swedish prime minister.

Christerson also announced yesterday tighter street policing, tougher penalties for gun-law violations and a boost to deportation powers"All measures are on the table" he said.

Critics of the government, however, argue that the measures it is planning are "superficial", since they fight the "symptoms" of the escalation of violence and that its root causes. The opposition claims the current government has made the country less safe, while Christerson blames the previous government for "irresponsible immigration policies and failed integration", according to the Associated Press.

Christerson's centre-right government came to power last year on a promise to tackle crime, but has so far failed to curb the violence.

For many years, Sweden was one of the most liberal immigration policies in Europe and was welcoming hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa, reports the American agency. However, it subsequently significantly reduced the number of immigrants it accepts, citing increasing crime and other social problems.

Police estimate that nearly 30.000 people in Sweden are directly involved in or have ties to gang crime. Violence has also spread from large urban areas to smaller towns where violent crime was once rare. In 2022, Sweden recorded 391 shooting incidents, of which 62 were fatal.

An official government report published in 2021 said that four in every million residents die in shootings every year in Sweden – compared to 1,6 people per million across Europe.

Source: Protothema