Blast hits Turkish cultural building in Sweden, no injuries reported

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS/AFP) - An explosion severely damaged a Turkish cultural association building in a Stockholm suburb, Swedish media reported on Wednesday (Feb 17).

Police said no one had been injured in the blast, which took place around 9.30pm local time in the southwestern Fittja neighbourhood, where a man was shot four days ago at a pro-Kurdish rally.

Police said that technicians were on site to investigate the cause.

The centre was located in the basement of a building in Fittja, in southwest Stockholm.

"No one was inside. No one was injured. It had been locked since earlier in the evening," a police spokesman said.

No one has been arrested and there are currently no suspects, he added.

Local media said the explosion hit the Turkish Cultural Association of Botkyrka, the name of the local municipality.

"The windows were blown out and smoke was escaping from the premises," police said in a statement, confirming that no one was hurt.

The incident comes four days after a man was seriously wounded by gunshots on the sidelines of a pro-Kurdish rally in the same district of Fittja.

The perpetrator has not been apprehended.

Police official Lars Bystroem told public television Wednesday it had been a "mistake" to allow protesters to pass underneath the windows of the Turkish association at a time of heightened tensions between the two communities.

Ankara has been waging an all-out assault on Kurdish groups it says are allied to outlawed domestic separatists, including shelling their positions in the north of its war-torn neighbour.

The explosion came the same day that 28 people were killed in a bomb attack in the capital of Turkey, which has been targeted by Islamist and Kurdish groups since it started fighting them in neighbouring Syria.

In Ankara earlier on Wednesday, a car laden with explosives detonated next to military buses near the armed forces' headquarters, Parliament and other government buildings.