Man detained over Sweden shootings

Police arrest a 38-year-old man suspected of carrying out a series of attacks on people of immigrant background.

    The police in Malmo have been investigating about 15 unexplained shootings in the last year [EPA]

    Swedish police have arrested a man suspected of carrying out a series of shootings targeting people of immigrant background in the city of Malmo.
     
    The 38-year-old is suspected of one murder in October 2009 and seven attempted murders between then and October 2010, Solveig Wollstad, the prosecutor, said on Sunday.

    Police said that from what they knew, the detained man was of Swedish origin.

    The suspect, arrested without drama in a residential area Malmo on Saturday, denied the charges.

    Borje Stromholm, the inspector leading the investigation, said the suspect had been detained after police received tips from the public, but stressed that the case was far from resolved.

    "The investigation has only just begun," he said.

    'Same weapon'

    In October, police announced that 15 shooting incidents in the southern city, all apparently targeting people of immigrant background, seemed to be linked to the same assailant.

    Police said the same gun had been used for several of the shootings, including the attack on the only known ethnic Swedish victim. The 20-year-old woman was shot dead while in a car with a man of foreign origin who was badly injured in the attack.

    The man arrested on Sunday possessed a licence for two weapons, which police seized during their search.
     
    Dozens of regional police officers have been dispatched to Malmo to help investigate the shootings, which have stoked fear in immigrant communities.

    Parallels  have been drawn to John Ausonius, nicknamed the Laserman, who killed an Iranian student and attempted to kill 10 other immigrants from August 1991 to January 1992 in the capital, Stockholm.

    Ausonius, himself of immigrant origin, used a gun with a notorious red laser pointer and was jailed for life after he was finally captured after triggering a massive police hunt.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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