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Stockholm 'terror attack': Four dead as truck collides with pedestrians in Drottninggatan shopping district

  • At least four dead and 15 injured
  • Swedish police: One person arrested
  • PM: Everything suggests 'terror attack'
  • Truck stolen from Spendrups Brewery
  • Reports of shots fired in separate incident
  • Subway closed, train station evacuated and city centre sealed off

At least four people are dead and 15 injured after a truck was driven into pedestrians in central Stockholm.

A haulage vehicle crashed into the corner of a department store in Drottninggatan (Queen Street), a shopping district in the centre of the Swedish capital on Friday afternoon. The cab of the vehicle then burst into flames.

The lorry had smashed through stone lion statue and into the pedestrianised area, leaving a trail of blood and debris.

The Swedish police were informed of the incident at around 2.50pm (local time).

A spokesman for Stockholm police said: "We can confirm that four people died and 15 are injured."

A spokeswoman for Stockholm County Council said: "We have 15 injured, adults and children, who are being taken care of at hospital.

"Nine of them are seriously injured."

At least one of the victims died in hospital, she added.

Detectives arrested a man who matched the description of the person who they issued an image of in the wake of the attack.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says everything indicates that the Drottninggatan incident was a "terror attack".

Swedish intelligence agency Sapo said the vehicle was rammed into people in a 'deliberate' attack.

"There are deaths, and many injured," Sapo spokesperson Nina Odermalm Schei told the AFP news agency.

Senior police officer Mats Lofving said: "We don't know whether this incident is isolated or whether we can expect more.

"We have police positioned at several strategic places with a particular risk threat."

Witnesses describe hundreds of people fleeing from scene

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet quoted a witness saying they saw hundreds of people running for their lives near the Ahlens mall.

Pools of blood were visible on the street along with bodies covered in blankets.

Paramedics could also be seen tending to the injured near the truck.

Jan Granroth told Aftonbladet: "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."

Eyewitness Serwan Saleme told Sky News: "There was a lot of cars, people were very confused.

"People were everywhere and they (the police) were shouting at people to stay away from the roads.

"All the major stations are closed right now. There is a lot of chaos going on right now. Everyone is shocked."

An Aftonbladet reporter, on the scene, said police suspected the crash was terror related.

There are also reports of a separate shooting incident in a second location about 20 minutes from the scene. Facebook has activated its safety check for people in the Stockholm area.

Annevi Peterson described people lying dead and injured in the street with blood everywhere.

"I heard the noise, I heard the screams, I saw the people," she told BBC News.

"There was, just outside the store, there was a dead dog, the owner screaming, there was a lady lying with a severed foot.

"There was blood everywhere, there were bodies on the ground everywhere.

"There was a sense of panic, people standing by their loved ones but also people running away."

Vu Ly, a 24-year-old student living in Stockholm, witnessed the incident.

He said "it was very intense", and "people were going crazy".

The student, originally from Vietnam, compared the scene to last month's attack in Westminster, adding: "I've never witnessed anything like that with my naked eyes, it was terrible."

Stolen truck

Spendrups Brewery confirmed that the truck belonged to their firm and was stolen earlier in the day.

"During a delivery to (a) restaurant, and while the driver was unloading, someone jumped into the driver’s seat and drove off with it," Spendrups communications director Marten Lyth told TT Swedish news agency.

The crash is close to the scene of a terror attack in 2010 when Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish citizen who lived in Luton, blew himself up.

The terrorist, who police concluded acted alone, died on December 11 2010 in the Bryggargatan area. No-one else was killed.

Abdulwahab rigged an Audi car with explosives in the hope that the blast would drive people to Drottninggatan, a busy shopping street, where he was waiting to set off two more devices strapped to his chest and back.

The car bomb never went off and, after setting fire to the Audi, he was unable to detonate the other two explosives as planned.

He made his way down a side street off Drottninggatan and, in an apparent attempt to fix the faulty trigger up his sleeve, set off the bomb on the front of his body, killing only himself.

The incident comes less than three weeks after a terrorist ploughed a truck into pedestrians in the Westminster area of London, killing five people. A police officer was fatally stabbed by the attacker.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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