Police arrest 2 after truck-ramming attack in Stockholm

Sweden's police officers guard in the central Stockholm, Sweden, April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Dikson - RTX34KWE

Police have arrested two men suspected of involvement in the truck attack that ploughs into crowds in busy shopping street, killing four people and wounding 15 others in Stockholm, Swedish media reported, in the latest such incident to hit Europe.

A woman is comforted after the deadly attack in Stockholm on Friday [TT News Agency via/Reuters]

A woman is comforted after the deadly attack in Stockholm on Friday [TT News Agency via/Reuters]

Stockholm police spokesman Lars Bystrom would not comment on media reports that the first suspect arrested confessed to ramming a stolen truck into crowds outside a busy department store in the centre of the capital on Friday.

Police said he was the person whose grainy picture the police released earlier in the day.

The second suspect was arrested separately in a Stockholm suburb later at night.

“Four people have died and 15 people have been injured,” said Bystrom.

The incident occurred just before 3.00 p.m at the corner of the Ahlens department store and Drottninggatan, the city’s biggest pedestrian street, above-ground from Stockholm’s central subway station.

“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.”

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.

Photos from the scene showed a beer truck sticking out of the department store. Swedish beer maker Spendrups told Aftonbladet that one of its vehicles had been carjacked earlier on Friday.

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

Body-like forms covered by blankets were seen on Drottninggatan and live television footage showed smoke coming out of the department store.

An image of a suspect caught on a surveillance camera was later released by police. The picture showed a man wearing a white sweater and dark hoodie under a military green jacket, with dark stubble on his face.

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.

 

 

SOURCE: Al-Jazeera

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