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Explosion hits Turkish center after Saturday shooting

Updated torsdag 18 februari 2016 kl 19.02
Published torsdag 18 februari 2016 kl 09.11
"This can be the tip of the iceberg"
(1:41 min)
Photo: Erik Nylander / TT
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Ismail Zengin chairman for the Turkish cultural association in Botkyrka at the center where there was an explosion Wednesday. Photo: Erik Nylander / TT Credit: Erik Nylander / TT
Photo: Sveriges Radio
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Center for the Turkish cultural association in Fittja. Photo: Sveriges Radio Credit: Anders Ohlsson/ Sveriges Radio

A powerful explosion hit the premises of a Turkish cultural association in Fittja, southwest of Stockholm. The Wednesday night blast could be connected to a shooting on Saturday during a pro-Kurdish demonstration in Fittja. Police said the shooting was possibly politically motivated, and Säpo has now stepped into the investigation.

Police received calls about an explosion around 9:30 PM.

"The glass panes had been smashed and smoke was coming from the premises," said Sven-Erik Olsson, a spokesperson with the Stockholm Police speaking with news agency TT.

There have been no reports of injuries and no arrests made. Bomb technicians were called to investigate the premises and police have been speaking with residents of the area.

On Saturday a man was shot and nearly killed in connection with a pro-Kurdsih demonstration in Fittja. The protestors were accused of throwing rocks at the Turkish cultural

association's center. Police are investigating whether Saturday's events and Wednesday's explosion are connected, however, they are investigating the possibility. Säpo, the Swedish intelligence service is also involved in the investigation. 

Anders Ygeman (Social Democrat), Minister of Home Affairs, told TT that the investigation will get to the bottom of what has actually happened. "But we do not want to have any escalating conflict between different groups in Sweden, regardless of who they are."

Doctor Bahar Baser, a research fellow at Conventry University who wrote a book about Turkish-Kurdish relations in Sweden, said the escalation in violence in Turkey could certainly affect diaspora groups here. She said while the groups have historically kept separate but peaceful, she said recently the groups have been affected by developments in Turkey.

"These two communities which did not have violent encounters before, might experience of that. And the main reason for that is surely the escalation of violence in Turkey because the political scene in changing in Turkey and is changing very rapidly," she said.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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