Sweden witnesses spike in shooting incidents

Sweden has witnessed a spike in the number of shooting incidents, with the figure reaching new highs in 2020, according to a local media report.

In the report on Tuesday, the Swedish Television, citing statistics from the Swedish Police Authority, revealed that by November, there had been as many shootings in 2020 as during the whole of 2019.

Between January 1 and December 15, there were 349 confirmed shootings in Sweden, with 111 people wounded and 44 dead as a result, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

The death toll is close to the highest number on record so far — 45 gun-related fatalities in 2018.

Most of the shootings, or 146, occurred in the capital Stockholm, where 23 deaths and 48 injuries were reported.

According to the police, most incidents were related to organised crime and conflicts between gang members.

Criminologist Joakim Sturup told Swedish Television that a major reason behind the worrying statistics is that automatic weapons are becoming more commonly used by gang members.