Swedish Police: Explosives Found in Truck Which Rammed into Crowd in Stockholm
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 18:31
A truck rammed into people on a central Stockholm street before crashing into a department store on Friday.
Flags flew at half-mast across Stockholm on Saturday as the city woke in mourning, a day after a truck attack that killed four as police said they had the suspected driver in custody.
The lorry was left partially embedded in the Ahlens department store after being ploughed into pedestrians on Friday afternoon, killing four people and wounding 15 others.
And though Swedish authorities say they're confident they've caught the man who was behind the wheel of the stolen beer delivery truck, they stressed yesterday that they "cannot rule out that more people are involved".
But they did not confirm if he drove the truck. "Nothing points to that we have the wrong person, on the contrary, suspicions have strengthened as the investigation has progressed", Dan Eliasson, head of Sweden's national police, told a news conference.
Police did not name the detainee, but said he was from the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan and that he had seemed peripheral in intelligence reports.
"The attack seems to have the same modus operandi as the Nice and Berlin attacks past year as well as the awful incident in Westminster bridge a few weeks ago, where vehicles were being used to carry out terror attacks".
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack by any terrorist organization thus far, despite the similarity of the attack to those of terrorists linked to the Islamic State terror group. "We just didn't know when it was going to happen", he said. "It's still unreal when it happens this close".
Swedish public broadcaster SVT said the police had found a bag containing explosives.
Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel visited the scene mid-morning.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday that the attack "indicates that it is an act of terror".
"Terrorists want us to be afraid, to not live our lives normally", he said. "We are an open, democratic society and that is what we will remain". In response, hundreds gathered Saturday at the site of the crash in the Swedish capital, building a heartbreaking wall of flowers on the aluminum fence put up to keep them away from the site's broken glass and twisted metal.
Russian officials say the suicide bomber who attacked the St. Petersburg subway on April 3 was a native of Kyrgyzstan. "But we have to find these individuals as well".
Police vans circulating in the city using loudspeakers urged people to go straight home and avoid large crowds.
Friday's attack was the latest in which drivers have used vehicles as weapons.
Last month, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old convert to Islam known to British security services, killed five people when he drove a vehicle at high speed into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before launching a frenzied knife attack on a policeman guarding the parliament building. Six people died in total.
In February, U.S. President Donald Trump shocked Swedes when he suggested that Sweden could be the next European country to suffer the kind of extremist attacks that have hit France, Belgium and Germany.
Neutral Sweden has not fought a war in more than 200 years, but its military has taken part in United Nations peacekeeping missions in several conflict zones, including Iraq, Mali and Afghanistan.