Swedish police investigate shooting near Israeli embassy in Stockholm

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Swedish police launched an investigation and stepped up security around Israeli and Jewish interests in the country after a patrol heard suspected gunshots near Israel's embassy in Stockholm early on Friday, they said.

"Due to a suspected shooting in close proximity to the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, the police are carrying out continued security-enhancing measures against Israeli and Jewish objects and interests throughout the country," police said in a statement.

Police early on Friday temporarily cordoned off an area in which the Israeli embassy is located after a police patrol heard noises in the area that they suspected were gunshots.

They said early on Friday an investigation into suspected serious weapons crime had been launched.

Police said the measures were taken after a number of incidents including the suspected gunshots on Friday, and included more a visible police presence in certain locations.

It remained unclear whether there was a link between the suspected gunshots and the Israeli embassy, they added.

Police held several people in connection with the incident. A prosecutor's office spokesperson later in the day said none of them remained in custody.

"We are following closely the ongoing Swedish investigation regarding the shooting outside the Embassy of Israel in Stockholm," Israeli ambassador Ziv Nevo Kulman said on social media X.

"We thank the Swedish authorities for their immediate reaction and investigation, and for enhancing the security measures around our embassy and around the Jewish communities," he added.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, Stine Jacobsen, Essi Lehto; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Christian Schmollinger, William Maclean)