Shots were fired last night at a market in Trelleborg, Sweden, a town 20 miles south of Malmo and 40 miles southeast of Copenhagen, Denmark. Four people were injured and one arrested.

“One person has been arrested and five have been taken in for questioning in connection with the shooting,” Officer Hans Nilsson told the media.

The injuries are not life threatening. Two people were shot and two were stabbed.

“The five people who have been questioned have been released, and the man who has been arrested is suspected of attempted murder,” added Officer Nilsson.

The news media reaction last night was one of a suspected mass shooting/terrorist attack case, given that the shooting happened very close to a market.

The police does not believe that the shooting is related to terrorism and the fact that some of those involved are persons known to authorities makes the event more likely to be a gang/crime related issue.

Sweden is a country which allows its populace to have access to firearms. In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Sweden ranked at No. 10. There are around one million rifles in private hands in a country with a population of 9 million. Gun related deaths are low, with 154 killed in 2014, and the use of firearms in crime is not frequent.

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The issue in Sweden is grenades, as surprising as that may sound. The grenades are smuggled from the Balkans; a lot of them remnants of the Yugoslav wars of the 90s. M75 and M53 are the more frequently encountered types. At times they are offered as a bonus, a gift to the buyer of other illicit goods, usually firearms. Their price is around 20 kronor and that means they are cheaper than an ice-cream. In most cases they are used for intimidation: thrown in spaces that are empty like the balcony of the victim or his parked car, simply to send a message.

For that reason, despite their frequent use there is only one death since 2014, an eight-year old British boy of Somali decent Yuusuf Warsame, who was killed when a grenade was thrown in the room he was sleeping while visiting relatives in Sweden. According to the Swedish police, the reason for the attack was an underworld feud in the Somali community.

With 48 attacks in 2015 and 52 in 2016, the Swedish government made the law pertaining to explosives a bit tougher: with the minimum prison term raised from six months to a year, and imposing a new penalty scale of 3-6 years for the most serious cases.

Based on the few facts that we know, the events in Trelleborg are most likely not related to terrorism but to something more common, like organized crime and gangs.

 

Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia.