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Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden’s Middle Class

Mr. Zuniga found work as a health aide, most recently caring for adults with severe disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease. He was a genial bear of a man who called everyone by a nickname — Bandito, Diablo, Loco, Feya — and no one, not even the stone-faced Swedish head nurses, could resist him.

But lately, Mr. Zuniga had complained that he did not feel safe in his neighborhood.

Varby Gard has produced a street gang, the Varby Gard Network, which the police have been monitoring for two years. It is led by a Tunisian man and populated by first- and second-generation immigrants from Finland, the Balkans and Africa, said Lars Broms, a detective who is investigating Mr. Zuniga’s death. Intent on protecting its monopoly on the local drug trade, it is fluid and loosely organized, but like other suburban gangs in Sweden, it is developing quickly, he said.

“Give them 20 years, and we’ll have the same as in L.A.,” Mr. Broms said.

On Tuesday, the police arrested two 18-year-old men on suspicion of throwing the grenade that killed Mr. Zuniga.

Mr. Zuniga had complained about the changes in Varby Gard, frustrated that the police did not have better control, friends said. A music lover, he no longer went out to concerts at night, said Hugo Garrido, 60, a close friend.

Source: NYT > World

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