Swedish PM urges EU to boost security after gunman in Brussels kills two Swedes

Kristersson: Sweden and European Union needed to better protect their borders and ensure that dangerous individuals could not stay illegally within the region

By Reuters

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Belgian police officers from the forensic service gather in the street in the Schaerbeek area of Brussels on Tuesday where the suspected perpetrator of the attack in Brussels was shot dead during a police intervention.— AFP
Belgian police officers from the forensic service gather in the street in the Schaerbeek area of Brussels on Tuesday where the suspected perpetrator of the attack in Brussels was shot dead during a police intervention.— AFP

Published: Tue 17 Oct 2023, 2:30 PM

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson called on the European Union to bolster border controls and internal security after a gunman killed two Swedes in Brussels on Monday, saying the region could not afford to be "naive".

Two Swedes were shot dead and a third wounded in central Brussels on Monday night as Belgium hosted Sweden for a football match. A man who identified himself as a member of the Daesh claimed responsibility in a video posted online.


Police in Brussels later shot and wounded a 45-year-old Tunisian suspected of the killings. The suspect died in hospital from his wounds, Belgian authorities said.

"All indications are that this is a terror attack aimed at Sweden and Swedish citizens only due to them being Swedish," Kristersson told a news conference.


"These terrorists want to scare us into obedience and silence. That will not happen."

Kristersson said Sweden and the European Union needed to better protect their borders and ensure that dangerous individuals could not stay illegally within the region, adding: "This is a time for more security, we can't be naive."

Sweden raised its terror alert to its second-highest level in August after holy Quran burnings and other blasphemous acts in Sweden outraged Muslims and the government warned that the country had become a priority target among militants.

Swedish authorities have also said the country has been the target of disinformation in social media about issues such as the holy Quran burnings and social services' handling of Muslim families.

The suspected assailant in Brussels, calling himself Abdesalem Al Guilani, claimed in a video on social media that he was a fighter for Allah.

"The threat assessment against Sweden has gradually changed and the threat of attacks by above all violent Islamist extremism has increased," security police SAPO said in a statement following the attack on Monday.

"It is a serious situation and the Security Police estimates that it will remain for a considerable period."



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