Man killed in Sweden after picking up explosive device

The victim died after picking up something off the ground. Police said there was nothing to indicate terrorism

The police has cordoned off and investigates the area outside Varby Gard metro station south of Stockholm where two people were injured in an explosion on January 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / TT News Agency / Henrik MONTGOMERY / Sweden OUT
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A man has died after picking up a device that exploded in his hand near a subway station in the Swedish capital Stockholm, police said.

The man, in his 60s, died after being taken to hospital. His companion, a woman aged in her mid-40s, received minor wounds to her face and legs.

Officials said there was nothing to indicated that terrorism was involved. Sweden has been hit by a number of small explosions that have been linked to disputes between organised crime gangs.

Some of the explosions have fuelled tensions between immigrant communities and far-right groups in a country that has been traditionally tolerant towards migrants. Three men with ties to Swedish neo-Nazi groups were jailed in July last year for bomb attacks on a left-wing bookstore and an asylum centre.

The 11am blast on Sunday was just outside the Varby Gard subway station in Huddinge, a residential district in greater Stockholm, said regional police spokesman Sven-Erik Olsson.

“The man was seriously injured after he picked up something from the ground and this device exploded," Mr Olsson said.

The Swedish tabloids Aftonbladet and Expressen claimed the device may have been a hand grenade but Mr Olsson dismissed that as speculation.

There were dozens of grenade attacks in Sweden in 52 linked to munitions brought over from the Balkans region since the 1990s, according to media reports.

Police initially were investigating the incident as an attempted murder, but later said there was no reason to believe that the couple was targeted.