Saturday, April 8, 2017
Six Dead And 15 Wounded In Stockholm Car Bomb
Four people were killed and 15 were injured on Friday in the center of Stockholm in a truck bombing, police said, adding that it was following the search for the driver.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has announced that the country's border controls have been strengthened.
"I have decided to tighten border controls," he said at a news conference at the government's headquarters, while police said they were still searching for the driver, who also injured 15 people when he drove the car into a crowd.
The attack occurred shortly before 13:00 GMT (10 am GMT) near the Åhléns City department store, at the junction of one of the capital's busiest pedestrian streets, Drottningsgatan, and one of the city's main arteries, Klarabergsgatan.
The vehicle crashed into the front of the store after it hit the pedestrians, and rescuers attended the injured at the scene, according to television footage.
"Four people were killed, and 15 were injured," Stockholm police spokesman Lars Byström said.
In the afternoon a man was arrested in Märsta, on the northern outskirts of Stockholm, police said, adding that he did not elaborate on his identity. The corporation said, however, that it was not the driver of the truck used in the attack. It is still being sought.
According to the newspaper "Aftonbladet", the detainee is an Uzbek of 39 years, a sympathizer of the group Islamic State.
Earlier, police told reporters that he was looking for a relatively young man in a black hooded jacket engraved by a security camera very close to the scene of the bombing. Apparently, this could be the detained.
Several witnesses described scenes of terror and panic.
"It made the same noise as a bomb that exploded, and smoke started to flow out of the main entrance," a witness at the scene, Leander Nordling, 66, told Aftonbladet.
"I have decided to strengthen border controls," Prime Minister Stefan Lövfen told a news conference at the government's headquarters.
"The terrorists want us to be afraid, they want us to change our habits, they want us to not live our lives normally, but that's what we're going to do.
"Sweden was attacked," "everything points to a terrorist attack," he told the Swedish media earlier.
The president, who at the time of the attack traveled to the second city of the country, Gothenburg, returned to the capital.
The center of the city was completely empty, while the shops closed their doors, and the inhabitants returned to their homes after police asked them to avoid agglomerations.
- Stolen Truck
The perpetrator had stolen the truck, taking advantage of "a delivery at a restaurant," said spokeswoman Spendrups spokeswoman Rose-Marie Hertzman.
Officials suspended the entire subway network, in addition to the buses and trams in the center, which went back to work hours later. The attack took place near the T-Centralen station, through which all the lines of Stockholm pass.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the attack on Sweden was an attack on "the whole" of the European Union.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "at these difficult times, the Russians mourn with the Swedish people", days after an attack, still unclaimed, leaving 13 dead in the subway of St. Petersburg.
The US State Department has "firmly" condemned this "terrorist attack".
"Such attacks are designed to sow fear, but only reinforce our joint determination to combat terrorism worldwide," according to a statement released by the briefing.
Sweden had only suffered an attack to date in December 2010 when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives on the same pedestrian street in Stockholm, leaving minor injuries.
The incidents are reminiscent of the attacks in London, Berlin, and Nice in southern France, whose authors launched their vehicles against crowds.
On March 22, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old Briton converted to Islam and known to the Security Services, killed five people, trampling them with a car on the sidewalk of Westminster Bridge. After that, he stabbed a policeman to death in front of Parliament.
The perpetrator of this attack claimed by the extremist Islamic State (EI) group was killed by the police.
In December, 12 people were killed after a man used a stolen truck to advance people strolling through a Christmas fair in Berlin.
The most deadly attack of this type in recent months was that of July 14, 2016, in Nice, when a person ran over a crowd watching the fireworks during the French national holiday. The attack killed 86 people.