The Swedish National Forensic Centre has revealed hand grenades were used in connection with 43 crimes and the rate of grenade use has risen 140 per cent since 2014.
According to Anna Nilsson, an expert in explosive subjects at the National Forensic Centre (NFC), the surge in crimes involving hand grenades is a new phenomenon, Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio reports.
“Yes, we have a marked increase in the number of explosive reports. It can be difficult to explain why but we see a clear increase in hand grenades that is relatively new,” Ms Nilsson said.
The centre, which was previously known as the State Forensic Laboratory (SKL), investigated 211 reports of explosives in 2017, compared to 88 in 2011.
60 of last year’s cases turned out to be “bangers,” a type of firework which was recently made illegal in Sweden but can be easily bought online on social media for as little as 200 SEK (£17) for a pack of 20 of the most powerful type according to police.
“They have been compared with the effect of a hand grenade,” Nilsson said.
Of the 43 actual hand grenades used in criminal acts, 21 actually detonated, and the vast majority, 30 out of 43, originated in former Yugoslavia.
The NFC evidence backs up a claim from Bosnian prosecutor Goran Glamocanin that Sweden had become the number one market in Europe for illegal weapons, including grenades and fully automatic rifles.
“As far as hand grenades are concerned, Sweden seems to be in a small…