Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Denmark Begins Biker Crackdown

COPENHAGEN -- Rival Danish bikers in the front line of a brutal Nordic gang war moved out of fortified strongholds across the country as emergency legislation suspending their right of assembly took effect Wednesday.

The law allows police to stop biker gang members entering their clubhouses or congregating in private homes, bars or meeting halls until further notice.

"We are going out to the strongholds and giving them notice that they can't go in there any more," said Chief Inspector Kai Vittrup, in charge of serving the orders in the capital and throughout eastern Denmark. "We're going to their private homes and trying to look for them wherever they are and because some of them are in prison we're going to the prisons too, to tell them that they are not able to go back to the strongholds."

Although believed to have extensive weapons caches, the feuding Hell's Angels and Bandidos gangs avoided confrontation with police.

The law was announced two weeks ago as the first step in a planned government package of legislation to quash a vicious turf war which in almost three years has killed seven people and wounded many more in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

The government offensive took on new urgency Oct. 6 when attackers fired an anti-tank missile into a mass of partygoers at the Titangade clubhouse, killing two and wounding 19.

The new law has raised the possibility that local authorities may have to rehouse, at public expense, bikers made homeless by the ban. Some security analysts are skeptical that driving the combatants underground will end the war, but Justice Minister Bjoern Westh has said that this bill is only the first step and measures to give police tougher gang-busting powers will follow.