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Swedish police tracking suspect in Gothenburg blast

By AFP - Sep 30,2021 - Last updated at Sep 30,2021

Emergency services are seen at the site of an explosion in central Gothenburg on Tuesday (AFP photo)

STOCKHOLM -- Swedish police said on Thursday they were pursuing a suspect over an explosion that injured 16 people in the city of Gothenburg, but there did not seem to be a link to gang crime as first suspected.

Police said they had identified a suspect and an arrest warrant had been issued for the person believed to be behind the explosion that tore through an apartment building early Wednesday.

"Given what is now known in the investigation, we can also say that there is no connection to gang crime," regional police chief Klas Johansson told a press conference.

Sweden has suffered dozens of actual or attempted bombings linked to violent criminal gangs in recent years, and many were quick to speculate that the Wednesday blast followed the same pattern.

"Throughout we've worked from the assumption that someone deliberately placed something to cause a fire or a large amount of destruction, but we don't know what caused the explosion," police strategic commander Anders Borjesson told reporters.

Police said they were still looking for the suspect, which local media reported was a 55-year-old man.

Newspaper Aftonbladet reported that the man was described as a "disgruntled" and had made threats of other bombings.

Local newspaper Goteborgs Posten reported that police had surrounded a building on Thursday near where the blast occurred and that the suspect had been due to be evicted on the day of the blast.

On Wednesday, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg's largest, took in 16 people with injuries related to the blast and subsequent fire, four of them serious.

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