Sweden: Peter Mangs charged in "racist sniper" case

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A member of the right-wing holds a Swedish flag as he demonstrates against a new mosque at Keillers Park in Gothenburg, southwest Sweden, on May 21, 2011. Around 100 people, many waving Swedish flags and wearing T-shirts with a red line drawn through a picture of the mosque, joined the right-wing demonstration against the building, which is set to be inaugurated next month, police said. At the same time, two separate left-wing marches in favour of the Islamic place of worship drew around 700 people, according to police, although organisers insisted the counter demonstrations attracted some 2,000-2,500 people. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Credit:

Jonathan Nackstrand

Prosecutors in Sweden have charged a Swedish man with three counts of murder for his alleged role in the "racist sniper" case, the Associated Press reported. The suspect, Peter Mangs, also faces 12 counts of attempted murder.

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In October 2010, the BBC reported that a string of 19, unsolved shootings had struck fear in the city of Malmo. Half of the population in Malmo is made of immigrants, and the shootings appeared to be racially-motivated. "If you're not blond, if you're not an original Swedish person, if you're an immigrant like me, that's it for you," an immigrant told the BBC at the time.

Peter Mangs, 40, was then accused of carrying out the attacks and arrested in November 2010, the AP reported.

But chief prosecutor Solveig Wollstad now says the motive isn't clear-cut. "There was a certain measure of xenophobia," Wollstad told reporters in Malmo, according to the AP. "But there were also other things, for example an aggressiveness against people who had earlier been involved in crimes."

Mangs is accused of carrying out most of his attacks in 2009 and 2010, BBC News reported today. Among those killed was Trez West Persson, a woman who was shot while sitting near a mosque. Police also linked Mangs to two murders from 2003, the BBC said.