- Man ‘arrested and claims responsibility for attack’
- At least four dead and 15 injured
- Truck is hijacked and driven into Stockholm department store
- At least four reported dead and many injured after terror attack
- Everything indicates this is terrorism says Swedish Prime Minister
- Suspect reported to be 39-year-old Uzbek father of four
Four people died and 15 injured after a hijacked truck rammed on people on a shopping street crashing into a departmental store in central Stockholm on Friday, in was has been termed ‘Stockholm terrorist attack’.
The suspected terrorist specifically had children as target after he intentionally drove the hijacked lorry into a crowded shopping street in Stockholm last night, a witness said.
One broadcaster reported that infants’ buggies were sent “flying through the air”, as the vehicle zigzalled along the pedestrinised Queens Street shopping district and got stocked in the window of a department store.
“It swerved from side to side. It didn’t look out of control, it was trying to hit people,” a second witness, Glen Foran, an Australian tourist, told Reuters. “It hit people, it was terrible. It hit a pram with a kid in it, demolished it.”
Swedish authorities have launched a nationwide manhunt for the perpetrator even as one person has been arrested after police issued a photograph of a lightly bearded man wearing a hooded top whom they want for questioning in connection with the attach that took place about 2:45 p.m local time.
Stockholm police officer Jan Evensson said the man who was arrested looked like the person in the surveillance camera photo.
Meanwhile, a daily newspaper, Aftonbladet, reported that a man with light injuries had been arrested in north Stockholm after claiming he was responsible for carrying out the attack.
‘Hints about the suspect’
Over the night it was reported that the suspected attacker was a 39-year-old father-of-four from Uzbekistan.
More so, reports that surfaced alleged the suspect had earlier posted jihadist propaganda on his Facebook page and had images of people injured in the explosion at the Boston Marathon in April 2013.
Further reporters early hours of Saturday noted that a second suspect been arrested in connection with the attack in Queens Street.
Swedish authorities have confirmed that at least four people were killed and another 15 were injured, including children. Authorities said nine of the injured victims were in a serious condition.
‘Prime Minister Stefan’
Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said the incident showed it had everything to do with acts of terrorism.
In a speech on Friday night, Prime Minister Lofven said Swedish values of democracy and freedom would not be “undermined by hatred”.
“Our message will always be clear: you will not defeat us, you will not govern our lives, you will never, ever win,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who had earlier described the assault as a terrorist attack, told a news conference.
‘Witnesses recount ordeal’
Moments of the attack captured on CCTV camera shown on live Television saw hundreds of shoppers and office workers fleeing the scene after the lorry raced down the pedestrian precinct, killing a dog and crushing flower pots and litter bins as it sped on.
“We stood inside a shoe store and heard something … and then people started to scream. I looked out of the store and saw a big truck,” Jan Granroth told Aftonbladet.
Another witness said: “When I came out I saw a lorry standing there, with smoke coming from it, and there were loads of bits of cars and broken flower pots along the street.”
Annevi Petersson, a photographer, ran out from a store when she heard screaming coming from outside. “I saw a woman had a partly severed foot. People screaming in panic, others ran. I saw people laying bloody on the street and got out of there.”
“I turned around and saw a big truck coming towards me. It swerved from side to side. It didn’t look out of control. It was trying to hit people,” Glen Foran, an Australian tourist in his 40s, told Reuters.
“It hit people; it was terrible. It hit a pram with a kid in it, demolished it,” he said.
“It took a long time for police to get here. I suppose from their view it was quick, but it felt like forever.”
Bloody tyre tracks showed the path of the truck, which was stolen by a masked hijacker while making a beer delivery to a tapas bar further up Drottninggatan, according to Spendrups Brewery spokesman Marten Lyth.
“We were standing by the traffic lights at Drottninggatan and then we heard some screaming and saw a truck coming,” a witness who declined to be named told Reuters.
“Then it drove into a pillar at (department store) Ahlens City, where the hood started burning. When it stopped we saw a man lying under the tyre. It was terrible to see,” said the man, who saw the incident from his car.
“Hijacking a truck, that has happened before,” Magnus Ranstorp, head of terrorism research at the Swedish Defence University, told Reuters.
“And this is a pretty cunning modus operandi. To drive to Ahlens and stop … There is a way down to the subway just a few metres away from there, and then you … can jump on any train you want and quickly disappear.”
Stockholm was under lockdown last night, with the metro and mainline trains shut down, as police fanned out across the city in pursuit of the suspect.
Stockholm city council announced it was opening public buildings for those stranded by the train and bus closures.
“Our thoughts are going out to those that were affected, and to their families,” Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf said in a statement, while European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker said an attack on any of the bloc’s member states “is an attack on us all”.
The European Union and countries across the continent added their voices of support, led by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and François Hollande, the French president, who expressed “outrage” at the attack in a statement from the Elysée Palace. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said that Europe would face down terrorism.
Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said he was “deeply concerned”. “Britain’s thoughts are with the victims, their families and the whole of Sweden,” he added.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, expressed his sympathies, saying his city shared a “steely determination with the people of Stockholm that we will never allow terrorists to succeed”.
‘Swedish Attacks in brief’
The Stockholm attack was the recent to hit Sweden after shootings in Danish capital Copenhagen in 2015 that killed three people and the 2011 bombing and shooting by far right extremist Anders Behring Breivik that killed 77 people in Norway.
Swedish authorities raised the national security threat level to four on a scale of five in October 2010 but lowered the level to three, indicating a “raised threat”, in March 2016.
The recent attack will see Police in Norway’s largest cities and at Oslo airport carry weapons until further authorities said.
In the same vein, Denmark has been on high alert since the February 2015 shootings. Traffic has been restricted on the Oresund Bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden at the request of Swedish police.
Credits: BBC, Reuters, Stingged.com, Telegraph