three gang murders in the span of 12 hours in the Swedish capital of Stockholm between Wednesday and Thursday. With one of the murders involving a devastating bomb attack on a residential building, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has vowed to bring in the military.
The killing spree began on Wednesday evening with the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man on a soccer pitch in southern Stockholm. The victim was described as a popular local rapper, and police spokesman Mats Eriksson told reporters that the execution-style slaying took place as children were training.
A video of the murder is circulating on social media, Eriksson said, adding that police are looking for multiple perpetrators. Eriksson said that the killing may be connected to an ongoing gang war in the city.
According to Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper, two drug kingpins from immigrant backgrounds – Rawa Majid, known as ‘The Kurdish Fox’, and Mikael Ahlström Tenezos, nicknamed ‘The Greek’ – are vying for control of the drug market. After a spate of shootings earlier this year, the conflict between the sides died down. However, an internal dispute between Majid and one of his associates named Ismail Abdo has set off another wave of violence and murder.
Abdo was reportedly behind an attempt on Majid’s life in Türkiye earlier this summer, which Majid allegedly responded to by killing Abdo’s mother.
Police believe that a bomb attack on a house in the Stockholm suburb of Uppsala on Thursday morning was aimed at one of Majid’s relatives. However, the device was placed next to a neighboring house and killed a woman unconnected to the gang.
Two houses were demolished in the blast while several others were damaged. Police have arrested two suspects and are investigating whether the bombing was linked to the Majid-Abdo dispute.
The third killing took place at midnight in the suburb of Jordbro. Residents reported hearing up to a dozen gunshots, and officers arriving on the scene found two men shot, one of whom died of his injuries. Three men were arrested, and the shooting is being investigated for connections to the gang war.
Many people saw this coming,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said in an address on Thursday. Pointing out that fatal shootings have tripled over the last decade, Kristersson blamed the failed immigration policies of previous governments, which saw the country take in more than 800,000 primarily Middle Eastern and North African immigrants between 2015 and 2022.
In response to the latest murders, and to nine other fatal shootings so far this month, Kristersson said that his government would deploy the military to “help the police in their work against the criminal gangs.”