Swedish sniper terrorizes immigrants

A town in southern Sweden has been in the grip of fear for over a year, after a series of random shootings that have left one dead and 8 wounded.

The shootings have been taking place in Malmo, Sweden’s third biggest city, which is also home to a large immigrant community. Police say all the incidents have the same hallmark – a lone gunman, targeting immigrants.

Since the police made that announcement about a week ago, there have been four more attacks, on top of the 15 last year.

Moreover, the latest shootings come just a month after the Swedish election, in which the Sweden Democrats, a far-right party, hostile towards immigration, made it to parliament for the first time. All these events together reinforce the worry that there is general hostility in Swedish society towards immigrants.

On the other hand, it cannot be said that the shootings are a reaction to the election of the far-right party, since they started a year ago, believes local journalist James Savage."The shootings are reportedly being carried out by an individual, an extremist way beyond the so-called ‘political extremists’ that have been elected to parliament," he told RT.

"On the whole, though, this might be a sign of increasing disquiet among a group of Swedes, representing a rather small minority – about five per cent," added Savage.

Violent crimes like this are relatively rare in Sweden, but there was a precedent in 1991, when a man went around shooting immigrants in Stockholm, killing one person and wounding several more. It was also at a time when a far-right anti-immigration party had been elected to parliament.

During the September parliamentary elections, the Sweden Democrats stunned political observers, winning seats for the first time and placing them in the position to give voice to their anti-immigration platform. The far-right party grabbed 20 of the 349 available seats in the country's assembly.