Sweden opposition party calls for military to tackle deadly gang war
Andersson, who lost last year's election partly because voters disapproved of her government's ability to tackle crime, called on the prime minister to change the law to allow the military to assist the police in combating the gangs. "Patrolling that police officers perform could be performed by the military.
Sweden's biggest opposition party on Thursday called on the government to deploy the military to help stop a gang war that has seen eleven people shot dead so far this month and sparked outrage among citizens and politicians. Two people were killed in separate shootings in Stockholm on Wednesday and a woman in her 20s, thought to be an innocent bystander, was killed when a bomb tore up a house in Uppsala in the early hours of Thursday.
"This is not Sweden, this is not how Sweden is supposed to be," Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson told a news conference on Thursday. Andersson, who lost last year's election partly because voters disapproved of her government's ability to tackle crime, called on the prime minister to change the law to allow the military to assist the police in combating the gangs.
"Patrolling that police officers perform could be performed by the military. In addition, the military has technical know-how they could assist with," she said. The police estimate that about 30,000 people in Sweden are directly involved with or have ties to gang crime. The violence has also spread from major urban areas to smaller towns where violent crime was previously a rare occurrence.
Earlier this week, two people were shot dead and two injured when a gunman opened fire at a bar in Sandviken. The 11 shooting deaths this month make September the deadliest month since December 2019. "The criminal conflicts in Sweden are a serious threat to the safety and security of the country," National Police Commissioner Anders Thornberg said in a statement.
"Innocents are murdered and injured. We are doing everything we can within the police and together with others to stop the development." Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer told broadcaster TV4 that the government was prepared to back the police but that there were no plans to deploy the military.
"It is not on the agenda to deploy the military. We must find a better solution, to build around the police," he said.
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