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 Sweden probes 'terrorist crime'

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Join date : 2010-09-27

PostSubject: Sweden probes 'terrorist crime'    Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:05 pm

Swedish police have announced that they are treating Saturday's bomb blasts in the capital, Stockholm, as a "terrorist crime".

"We are opening an investigation into a terrorist crime under Swedish laws," Anders Thornberg, of the National Security Service, told a news conference on Sunday, a day after twin blasts went off in a busy street among afternoon Christmas shoppers.

Officials refused to give any details about the bomber, saying all the relatives of the man, who died as one of the bombs exploded, had not yet been contacted.

Two people got minor injuries in the blasts, the first of which from a car that exploded near Drottninggatan, a busy shopping street in the centre of the city, Ulf Goransson, a spokesman for the Swedish police, told Al Jazeera on Saturday.

Shortly afterwards, a second explosion was heard further up the same street and the body of a man was found on the ground.

"There was series of minor explosions, causing a fire in one of the cars in the street. Some minutes later, we found a man seriously injured 300 metres away from the scene of the first explosion. This man died," he said.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden's prime minister, said it was too early to reach any conclusions and warned that speculation could lead to tensions.

"Sweden is an open society which has expressed a desire that people of different backgrounds, who believe in different gods or or no god at all, should be able to live side by side... Our democracy is well-functioning. Anyone who feels frustration or anger has the possibility to express this in a non-violent way ... This is a society worth defending," he said.

Email warning

About ten minutes before the blasts, the Swedish news agency TT and the security service received an email warning with a threat to Sweden and its people ahead of the explosions.

It said the threat was linked to Sweden's presence in Afghanistan, where it has a force of 500 soldiers, and referred to caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed by Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist.

"Our acts will speak for themselves," TT quoted the message as saying. "Now your children, your daughters and your sisters will die as our brothers, our sisters and our children are dying."

The message concluded by urging "mujahidin" to rise up in Sweden and in Europe, the news agency said.

TT said the email was not sent anonymously but the news agency refused to say who the sender was.

The newspaper Aftonbladet cited sources saying the sender was a 28-year-old who had been expressing "extreme views" on the social networking website Facebook.

Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog in a cartoon in 2007, has been the target of previous attacks.

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