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Swedish police say man arrested is suspected driver of truck that killed four people

If confirmed as a terror attack, it would be Sweden’s first such deadly assault.

The destroyed truck is towed away.
The destroyed truck is towed away.
Image: Markus Schreiber

SWEDISH POLICE SAY that a man arrested on “suspicion of terrorist crime” could be the driver of the truck that ploughed into a crowd of people in a busy Stockholm store department.

“We suspect that the man who was arrested is the perpetrator,” Stockholm police spokesman Lars Bystrom told AFP.

Police said after the attack that they had detained the man who “matched the description” of a photo released of a suspect wearing a dark hoodie and military green jacket.

But they did not confirm if he drove the truck.

PastedImage-48329 A photo of the suspect released by police. Source: Police/TT via AP

According to the Aftonbladet newspaper, the same man is a 39-year-old of Uzbek origin and a supporter of the Islamic State (IS) group.

If confirmed as a terror attack, it would be Sweden’s first such deadly assault. The 15 injured included children and nine people were “seriously” wounded, health authorities said.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he had strengthened the country’s border controls.

“Terrorists want us to be afraid, want us to change our behaviour, want us to not live our lives normally, but that is what we’re going to do. So terrorists can never defeat Sweden, never,” he said.

The attack occurred just before 3:00 pm (1300 GMT) when the stolen truck slammed into the corner of the bustling Ahlens store and the popular pedestrian street Drottninggatan, above ground from Stockholm’s central subway station.

Pictures taken at the scene showed a large blue beer truck with a mangled undercarriage smashed into the Ahlens department store.

© – AFP 2017

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