Malmö and its surrounding region saw the most deadly shootings in Sweden last year, with the city's ongoing gang war leaving 14 dead and 28 wounded, according to new police statistics published on Wednesday.
In their report, Swedish police said that most recent shootings appeared connected to battles over the narcotics trade, which has grown significantly, with the number of police narcotics cases doubling over the last decade.
“The police have a very good picture of which conflicts are occurring in different parts of the country and we are working hard at seizing people and bringing them before the courts,” said Mats Löfving, head of Noa, the Swedish police's national coordinating body.
“You can see that among other things in the fact that remand prisons, prisons and youth offenders' centre are pretty much all full.”
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The number of fatal shootings in the police's southern district, which includes Malmö, increased to 14 from ten in 2017, while the number of fatal shootings in the police's western region, which includes Gothenburg, increased from five to ten.
The number of fatal shootings in the Stockholm region fell from 19 to 11, but this was not enough to stop the number of 45 gun deaths over Sweden as a whole, compared to 43 in 2017.
The total number of shootings fell, however, with 306 in 2018 compared to 324 in 2017.
The number of fatal shootings in Sweden between 2006 and 2018. Image and statistics: TT/Police