Swedish gangs comprised of teens and young adults torched and vandalized close to 100 vehicles in the city of Gothenburg and surrounding towns late Monday night. According to Reuters, the violence comes just weeks before Sweden’s general election in September.
In addition to the attacks in and around Gothenburg, Reuters reports that some cars were also burned in Stockholm, which sits about five hours away on the other side of the country.
“It seems very organized, almost like a military operation,” said Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. “Society is always going to react strongly to this kind of thing.”
Although there has been some speculation, it is still not clear what triggered the attacks; Sweden, however, has seen an increase in violence over the past five years. In 2013, riots broke out in Stockholm after police officers killed a 69-year-old man who was holding a machete.
The areas hardest hit by violence are the urbanized areas with high levels of unemployment, such as Falkenberg and Trollhattan, both of which experienced attacks Monday night. The country normally sees an uptick in violent incidents around mid-August.
No one was injured during the attacks and police say they have arrested two men, aged 16 and 21, in connection with the mayhem.
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