Americans tend to look at the Nordic countries as peaceful, pleasant countries, but Sweden is currently facing a sharp rise in explosions.
Paulina Neuding wrote about the issue at Quillette, pointing out that the increase in explosions is something not typically seen “in the world for a state not at war.”
Sweden has experienced a sharp rise in explosions in recent years, predominantly related to conflicts between warring criminal gangs. The use of explosives in the Nordic country is now at a level that is unique in the world for a state not at war, according to police. In response, the government issued a first-ever ”amnesty for explosives” in the fall of 2018, allowing people in possession of such weapons to hand them over to police with immunity. But this didn’t stem the tide: some 50 explosions were reported in the first three months of 2019 alone—an average of more than one every other day and an increase over the same period in 2018, a year that saw a record number of more than three blasts per week.
The most recent attack, according to Neuding, occurred last Friday, around 9 a.m. in Gothenburg. Twenty-five people received minor injuries in the explosion, which heavily damaged 250 apartments in two buildings.
“A nearby kindergarten was evacuated. Hospitals jumped into disaster mode. Photos from the scene show rows of demolished balconies and shattered windows. It was ‘absolutely incredible’ that no one was severely injured, a police spokesperson said,” Neuding wrote.
Neuding also said there had been three reported attacks since Tuesday, but no arrests.
Shootings in the country are also on the rise, with 45 deadly shootings in 2018, compared to just three in Norway.
Much of the issue has been the result of immigration into a previously homogenous country. The Swedish government — famous for being “feminist” — refuses to acknowledge the situation, instead insisting the problems are caused by socio-economic issues even though the country, according to Neuding, “is one of Europe’s most generous welfare states.”
A chart from Swedish Public Service TV showed the increase in detonated hand grenades since 2011. In that year, just 2 hand grenades were detonated in the entire country, one in Malmo and the other in Gothenburg. The record was set in 2016, with 39 total detonations. There were 21 and 18 detonations in 2017 and 2018, respectively. In total, since 2011, there have been 116 detonated hand grenades in Sweden — 27 in Malmo, 13 in Gothenburg, and 46 in Stockholm.