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Antony Antoniou – Reform UK Northampton North
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Swedish PM calls in the army to deal with immigrant gang violence

Sweden faces worst gang violence in history as PM calls crisis meeting

Sweden is experiencing an unprecedented surge in gang violence, with the country’s Prime Minister calling a crisis meeting today with military and police chiefs to discuss deploying troops to help stem the bloodshed.

This month alone has seen 12 people killed in shootings and bombings, in what is the deadliest month in recent years. The spate of killings includes the shocking murder of a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head in a Stockholm suburb.

Shocking spate of killings

In just the last 12 hours, three more people have been brutally killed. An 18-year-old rapper was shot dead during a football training session at a sports ground in Stockholm. Later that evening, one man was killed and another injured in a shooting in a suburb south of the capital.

And in the early hours of this morning, a devastating bomb blast ripped through an apartment block just outside Uppsala, north of Stockholm. A 25-year-old woman was killed when her home was destroyed in the explosion. Four neighboring buildings were also badly damaged in what looked like a “war zone,” according to witnesses.

The woman is believed to have been an innocent victim, with the intended target her neighbor who has links to notorious gang leader Rawa Majid, known as the “Kurdish Fox.”

Last week also saw a gunman open fire in a crowded bar in Sandviken, killing two people. And the 13-year-old boy, identified only as Milo, was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head near his home in Haninge, south of Stockholm.

PM vows to “hunt down the gangs”

In a televised address last night, Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson vowed to “hunt down the gangs” and “defeat” them.

He said Sweden has “never seen anything like this” and that “no other country in Europe is seeing anything like this.”

Mr Kristersson is meeting with the head of the armed forces and national chief of police today to discuss deploying the military to support police in tackling gang violence.

Sweden is considering calling in soldiers to bolster law enforcement, which is struggling to cope with the surge in gang warfare and organized crime. However, it’s not yet clear exactly how the military could get involved.

Gang violence fuelled by feud

Much of the violence has been fuelled by a bloody feud between two rival gang leaders vying for control of the illegal drugs and arms trade.

Rawa Majid, who lives in Turkey, has been fighting a turf war against his former associate Ismail Abdo, known as “The Strawberry.” Abdo’s mother, in her 60s, was shot earlier this month in an incident believed to be related to the feud, and later died from her injuries.

These criminal networks are fighting violent vendettas and becoming increasingly brazen in targeting each other in public shootings, grenade attacks and bombings. Sweden has seen a rise in drive-by assassinations, often carried out on suburban streets in broad daylight.

Children caught up in “extreme violence”

Shockingly, children are also being caught up in the brutal gang warfare. Apart from the 13-year-old boy murdered this month, prosecutors say teenagers are being manipulated into storing firearms for adult criminals.

PM Kristersson said an “increasing number of children and completely innocent people are affected by this extreme violence.”

The usually tranquil Scandinavian nation is struggling to contain this rapid spiral into gang lawlessness. Sweden registered over 390 shootings last year, with over 60 fatal.

New crackdown on gangs

In response, Kristersson has unveiled a raft of tough new measures to clamp down on the gangs.

He said “Swedish legislation was not designed for gang wars and child soldiers” but that is now changing. New laws will enable increased surveillance such as wiretapping gang members’ communications.

Police will get more powers to conduct body searches in certain areas. Sentences for gang-related gun crime and repeat offenders will be significantly increased. Teenage criminals could also face being held in new dedicated youth prisons.

Kristersson promised that gang members who are foreign nationals will be deported, even if they have not committed a crime themselves but simply have gang associations.

Critics blame previous government’s policies

The conservative Prime Minister blamed the rise in gang crime on what he called the “naivete” of previous governments.

He said their liberal immigration policies and failure to integrate migrants had allowed the gang violence to spiral out of control over the past decade.

Critics argue the former Social Democrat government failed to invest enough in policing and social programs in disadvantaged immigrant neighborhoods. This provided fertile ground for organized crime networks to flourish among disenfranchised youths.

There are also calls for more focus on addressing root causes of gang culture rather than relying predominantly on punitive measures. But the government insists getting tougher on crime is crucial to restoring law and order.

Emergency steps to quell gang warfare

– Sweden is experiencing a historic surge in gang violence, with 12 killed this month alone in shootings and bombings.
– The prime minister has called crisis talks with military and police chiefs to discuss deploying troops to help tackle the crisis.
– Much of the violence stems from a feud between two rival gang leaders fighting for control of the criminal underworld.
– Children are being drawn into the brutal gang conflict, with a 13-year-old boy shockingly murdered this month.
– The PM has vowed to “hunt down the gangs” and unveiled tough new measures including increased surveillance and deportation of foreign criminals.
– Critics argue the previous government’s policies failed to integrate immigrants and invest in disadvantaged areas, enabling gangs to thrive.
– With the military possibly taking on a policing role, Sweden faces a decisive moment in confronting the unprecedented gang violence threatening society.
– The coming months will test whether the government’s hardline approach can stem the bloodshed and defeat the power of criminal networks.

As gang-related deaths continue to mount, the government is taking emergency steps to quash the blooshed. Kristersson said “We are going to defeat the gangs,” vowing to stop the violence “spreading like a toxin in our society.”

With the military poised to potentially take a frontline role in combating gang criminality, Sweden faces an uncertain future. The coming months will test whether the government’s hardline policies can curb surging gang lawlessness and spiral of vengeance killings.

Time will tell whether the once-peaceful nation can defeat the unprecedented threat posed by rampant criminal gangs tearing at Sweden’s social fabric.

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