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Girl (11) killed in Stockholm attack named

By David Keyton

An 11-year-old who died after she was mown down by a stolen truck that ploughed into a crowd in Stockholm has been named.

Schoolgirl Ebba Åkerlund was reported missing in the panic in the wake of the tragedy on Friday afternoon. She had been walking home from school when the attack happened.

Her family had launched a social media campaign to track her down, but yesterday, it was confirmed that she had died.

In a statement, her family said: "With all our heart we thank the Swedish people for all the warmth and love you have given us in a time of despair and pain. We now need peace and quiet to process our grief and ask for your understanding that we need to do it in peace."

Yesterday a 39-year-old Uzbek man confessed to ramming the truck into the crowd, his lawyer said.

Four people died in the carnage and 15 were wounded.

Briton Chris Bevington (41) was among those killed in the incident. Mr Bevington lived in Stockholm with his family and worked as a director with music streaming service Spotify.

The Stockholm District Court ruled that police could detain Rakhmat Akilov for a month after he admitted in court that he drove the stolen beer truck into a crowd outside an upscale department store.

He was detained by police hours later and arrested early on Saturday.

Police have not given a motive for the attack and no extremist group has claimed responsibility.

Police said Akilov was known to have been sympathetic to extremist organisations but that there was nothing to indicate he might plan an attack. His Swedish residency application was rejected last year. After the court hearing, his lawyer Johan Eriksson said Akilov is "pleading guilty" to Friday's attack but said he was not allowed to say more about the case.

The four people killed also included two Swedes and a Belgian woman. Eight of those injured, two seriously, are still being treated in hospital.

Friday's attack shocked Swedes who pride themselves on their open-door policies towards migrants and refugees.

In 2015 a record 163,000 asylum-seekers arrived in the country - the highest per capita rate in Europe.

Belfast Telegraph


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