Stockholm truck attack: Man held for ’terrorist crimes’

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On 8 April 2017 saa 12:02
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Swedish prosecutors say man arrested for ’terrorist crimes’ after truck rammed into crowds in Stockholm, killing four.

Swedish police said on Saturday that a man arrested on "suspicion of terrorist crime" was likely to be the driver of a truck that ploughed into a crowd of people in central Stockholm a day earlier, killing four.

"The person in question has been arrested as the culprit ... in this case the driver," Lars Bystrom, police spokesman, said.

Swedish media reported police had arrested a second man and that he had a connection to the previously arrested person, citing police sources. The police declined to comment on whether it had arrested any additional suspects.

The incident, which also left 15 people injured, occurred just before 13:00 GMT on Friday at the corner of the Ahlens department store and Drottninggatan, the Swedish capital’s biggest pedestrian street, above-ground from its central metro station.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said everything indicated it was "a terror attack".

"We are thinking of the dead and the injured and their families. I am urging the public to be vigilant and keep updating the police," Lofven said.

The capital was paralysed with a huge security presence after the attack. Police told people to stay away from the centre of the city, and movie theatres as well as many shops were closed.

The metro system was halted, train traffic from the nearby Central Station disrupted and thousands of people were seen walking across the city’s bridges with no alternative transportation available.

Photos from the scene showed a beer truck sticking out of the department store. Swedish beer maker said one of its vehicles had been carjacked earlier on Friday as its driver was unloading goods at a restaurant.

"We stood inside a shoe store and heard something ... and then people started to scream," witness Jan Granroth told the Aftonbladet daily.

"I looked out of the store and saw a big truck."

Body-like forms covered by blankets were seen on Drottninggatan.

The vehicle caught fire after driving through the busy pedestrian zone and slamming into the building.

The European Union offered Sweden support and solidarity on Friday.

"An attack on any of our member states is an attack on us all," said EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker. "One of Europe’s most vibrant and colourful cities appears to have been struck by those wishing it - and our very way of life - harm."

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "We stand together against terror."

Friday’s incident was near the site of a December 2010 attack in which Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish citizen who lived in Britain, detonated a suicide bomb, killing himself and injuring two others.

Several attacks in which trucks or cars have driven into crowds have taken place in Europe in the past year.

In London last month, a man in a car ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four, and then stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead by police.

In Nice, France, last July, a truck killed 86 people celebrating Bastille Day, and one in Berlin in December smashed through a Christmas market, killing 12 people.

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The truck was driven along Drottninggatan before ramming into a department store

Source:Al Jazeera