Sweden has seen 116 hand  grenade attacks in 8 years

Sweden stands out in Europe when it comes to deadly violence among young men, in particular fatal shootings among men aged 15-29, yet the number of attacks using hand grenades has also risen sharply. Why is that?

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Sweden has seen 116 hand  grenade attacks in 8 years - NewsMavens
Hand grenade, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

In the last eight years, the number of attacks carried out using hand grenades in Sweden has risen significantly.

The vast majority of these incidents are linked to gang crime and take place in urban areas around Sweden's three biggest cities. 

One expert on gang crime told public broadcaster SVT the level of grenade attacks was "extreme" for a country not at war.

The high level has also meant that bystanders, not involved in gang conflicts, have been affected in very rare cases. The only two fatalities from such attacks have in fact been civilians: a 63-year-old citizen who picked up an undetonated grenade at a train station earlier this year, and an eight-year-old boy killed in his bed when a grenade was thrown at the apartment.

Little research has been carried out into grenade attacks previously, and the rise is worrying. For one thing, there are fewer identifying traces left by a grenade than a gun, and the attacks can be carried out from a greater distance.

It is crucial that police learn more about how any why these weapons are being used, and how they can tackle the problem, in order to stop any further fatalities.

Details from the story:

  • In the past eight years, 116 hand grenade attacks have taken place in Sweden
  • These have led to two deaths and nine injuries
  • Less than a third of the attacks were aimed at people, with the rest targeting buildings or objects, such as police stations
  • These figures come from a report carried out by the Institute of Future Studies in Malmö
  • Over the past two years, the number has fallen after reaching a peak in 2016, but remains higher than the European average

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