Masked vandals torch dozens of cars in Sweden
Up to 80 cars were set on fire overnight across western Sweden by masked vandals, police said Tuesday, in what they suspect was a coordinated attack weeks before a general election.
Most of the cars were burned at around 20 locations in Sweden's second largest city of Gothenburg late Monday.
Authorities said no suspects have been arrested so far and no motive has been established.
But police said they had identified several people in connection with the blazes, which they believe were organised on social media.
"We've never seen this many cars set on fire before," Hans Lippens, police spokesman in western Sweden, told AFP.
Dozens of vehicles have been set on fire in western Sweden in what appears to be a series of coordinated arson attacks; people dressed in all black fled the scenes pic.twitter.com/jkpB0Otzd7— BNO News (@BNONews) August 13, 2018
The incident triggered outrage among Swedish politicians who are busy campaigning for the September 9 general election.
"I'm furious. My question to (the perpetrators) is: what the hell are you doing?" Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told public broadcaster Swedish Radio on Tuesday.
"You're ruining things for yourselves, your parents and your neighbourhoods," Lofven said, adding the incident "looked very coordinated, almost like a military operation".
Cars set ablaze is common in Sweden. In Stockholm's suburbs alone, such crimes happen almost on a daily basis, usually attributed to disadvantaged youths.
Last year, 1,457 cars were "deliberately" set on fire across Sweden, compared to 1,641 in 2016, according to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency's figures.
"Sweden has tolerated this for too long. This must end now," Ulf Kristersson, leader of the conservative opposition party, the Moderates, wrote on his Facebook account.
Last year in February, two days after US President Donald Trump's baffling comments linking crime to immigration in Sweden, riots broke out in the immigrant-heavy northern Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby.
Dozens of youths clashed with police after they arrested a suspected drug dealer in Rinkeby. The rioters threw stones at police, burned cars and looted shops.
- Here are 10 of the most populated cities in the world
- Lippo's Karawaci flooded, Pejaten Village catches fire
- UGM considers expelling alleged sexual abuser amid public pressure
- President Trump, thank you for not attending ASEAN summit
- ASEAN’s priority: China
- Passenger demands window seat, gets amusing response from flight attendant
- US pilots say Boeing didn’t warn of 737 feature tied to crash
- Macron the latest US ally insulted by Trump
- Cutting out rice not enough: More lifestyle changes needed to prevent diabetes
- Jokowi ratifies seven trade agreements