Swedish anti-immigrant sniper jailed for life

Reuters News

11/23/2012 6:24:50 AM - Reuters News

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A gunman who shot dead two people during a string of attacks on foreign-looking people in Sweden was jailed for life on Friday in a region still traumatized by the 2011 massacres by Norwegian Anders Breivik.

The attacks by Peter Mangs, 40, spread fear in the southern city of Malmo, where about 30 percent of people come from immigrant backgrounds.

"The crimes which Peter Mangs committed are characterized by extreme ruthlessness and a complete lack of empathy for other people," the judges said in a statement released by the court.

Mangs was found guilty in July of shooting dead a Swedish-born woman who was sitting next to an immigrant friend in a car in 2009. He was also convicted of murdering an Iranian-born man by shooting him at close range in his apartment in 2003.

The court found Mangs guilty of four attempted murders during a spate of sniper attacks in 2009 and 2010.

Mangs was ordered a total of more than 1 million crowns ($149,700) to compensate victims or their families.

His crimes, along with the killing spree mounted by Breivik in Norway in 2011, fuelled a public debate about extremism in a region widely known for its tolerance.

Prosecutors said Mangs was obsessed with guns, hostile to immigrants and had an interest in "Laser man", a racist gunman called John Ausonius who used a rifle with a laser sight to shoot immigrants in Sweden in the early 1990s.

Breivik killed 77 people, mostly young members of Norway's ruling Labour Party at a summer camp In July 2011. He said he was attacking the promotion of Muslim immigration by the political elite.

($1 = 6.6785 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Patrick Lannin; Editing by Andrew Heavens)