STOCKHOLM: Criminal activity may have been behind an explosion that tore through an apartment building in Sweden’s Gothenburg early on Tuesday, authorities said, with 16 people injured including four seriously hurt.

Emergency responders said that the blast did not look like an accident, in a country that has suffered dozens of actual or attempted bombings linked to violent criminal gangs in recent years. Ambulances, fire trucks and emergency crews swarmed the scene on Tuesday morning as thick smoke rose from the building, television images showed.

“It’s obvious that a crime cannot be excluded,” Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told a joint press conference with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

Lofven, whose government has been criticised in recent years for failing to rein in rising gang crime, told reporters he did not want to “speculate” on the origin of the explosion.

“Everyone should know that society is always stronger than crime,” he told the press conference.

According to regional newspaper Goteborgs Posten, a police officer who recently testified in a major gang trial in Sweden’s second city lives in the building.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2021

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