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Minute's silence held for Stockholm lorry attack victims

Swedes have observed a minute of silence during an official day of mourning to honour the four people killed and 15 wounded in a lorry attack on shoppers in Stockholm last week.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told a crowd outside Stockholm City Hall that "the whole of Sweden" sympathised with the families and friends of the victims, thanking the police and other officials for their courage "from the bottom of my heart".

He said the countries of the four victims - Briton Chris Bevington, 41, two Swedes and a Belgian woman - had suffered "horrendous acts of terrorism, but we have also seen the strength and determination and power of our democratic societies".

"We will never surrender to terror. We will get through this together," Mr Lofven said.

Police have arrested a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan whose residency application was rejected last year.

He is being held on suspicion of terrorist offences and police said he was known for having been sympathetic to extremist organisations.

A second person has also been arrested in the case but police have given no details about them.

Four others questioned about the attack have been released, police said.

Stockholm regional police commander Jan Evensson said suspicions against the Uzbek suspect "had grown stronger and we are pretty sure we've got the right man".

"He will sit behind bars for the rest of his life," he told Swedish SVT television.

Earlier on Monday, people gathered outside the upscale department store where the lorry ploughed into a crowd of shoppers.

Among them was John Holmstrom, who works at the Ahlens store and said he had been at work just two hours before the attack.

"It's been a real shock, all this week and everything around this weekend about this accident," he said.

"I know a lot of people that were really, really close to getting hit by the truck."

Carl Forsaljare, a magazine seller, was in the area during the attack but said he was not surprised it happened in peaceful Sweden.

"I said just a week before that it's just a matter of time before it is going to pop up in Sweden," he told the Associated Press.

Court documents confirmed the name of the 39-year-old Uzbek suspect as Rakhmat Akilov.

The Stockholm District Court said it has received a detention order in a case "regarding the incident at Drottninggatan in Stockholm" that occurred on April 7.

Court papers showed that Akilov is suspected of crimes against national security and terrorism.

The court said it will decide on his detention on Tuesday.


From Belfast Telegraph