Sweden considers using its army to help battle the mayhem caused by violent crime gangs

  • Sweden is set to deploy its army to battle surging gang violence across the country.

  • Three people were killed on Wednesday, including a young woman, near Stockholm, an innocent bystander.

  • Eleven people were reportedly killed by shootings or bombings in September alone.

Sweden's prime minister has raised the possibility of military help after a surge in gang violence and killings has swept the country, The Associated Press reported.

Ulf Kristersson's move was prompted by a spike in violence in September, as crime gangs use young recruits to carry out contract killings.

"Sweden has never before seen anything like this. No other country in Europe is seeing anything like this," Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson said in a speech to the nation.

Kristersson called a meeting on Friday with the country's police chief and the head of Sweden's defense forces to evaluate "how the armed forces can help police in their work against the criminal gangs."

It is still being determined what role the army would play, but one possibility is that it could replace the police in guard and protection duties, so officers would be freed up to fight crime.

Eleven people have been killed by shootings or bombings in the country since the start of September, with three of those deaths coming in the space of just 12 hours on Wednesday, The Times reported.

A 25-year-old woman died from injuries following a bomb explosion near Uppsala, a university city north of Stockholm, while the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported that a rapper was fatally shot outside a sports complex in the outskirts of Stockholm.

"We heard five shots. Then two little guys run and shout 'shooting,'" a witness told the paper.

"I cannot emphasize enough how serious the situation is," Kristersson said, the Financial Times reported.

The "Kurdish Fox"

The gangs have often emerged from Sweden's socially disadvantaged immigrant neighborhoods. Young people are often used to carry out killings because they receive more lenient sentences.

Police have reportedly blamed much of the violence on the Foxtrot network gang and its leader Rawa Majid, also known as the "Kurdish Fox." Majid, 37, is thought to be running the gang while in exile in Turkey.

Majid reportedly denied all accusations against him in an interview with a Swedish broadcaster.

Politico reported that the alleged drug lord had evaded Swedish authorities by purchasing Turkish citizenship through the country's golden visa, or citizenship by investment, program.

The program allows people to get Turkish citizenship by purchasing real estate worth at least $250,000 or investing at least $500,000, among other options.

"An extradition of Rawa Majid from Turkey has been requested," public prosecutor Henrik Söderman previously told the publication.

But "Turkish authorities have said that the extradition is not possible because Rawa Majid is a Turkish citizen," he added.

"Rawa Majid is an entrepreneurial gang leader with ambitions to become a Scandinavian Pablo Escobar," Diamant Salihu, an author of two books on Sweden's organized-crime gangs, told The Wall Street Journal.

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