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Swedish Prime Minister condemns 'horrific violence' after seven injured in suspected terror attack

The suspect was taken to hospital after being shot in the leg by police.

Image: PA

THE SWEDISH PRIME Minister has condemned the ‘horrific violence’ displayed in a suspected terror incident last night in the city of Vetlanda. 

A man stabbed at least seven people, with some sustaining life-threatening injuries. 

The suspect, who is in his twenties, was taken to hospital after being shot in the leg by police following the mid-afternoon attack on Wednesday in the southern city of 13,000 inhabitants.

Speaking to AFP, police said the man had used a “sharp weapon,” while local media reported that he had brandished a knife.

Police initially treated the incident as “attempted murder” but later changed it in a statement to include a “suspected terrorist crime,” without giving further details.

Three of those attacked were said to have suffered life-threatening injuries, while two others were in serious condition, according to information coming out of the hospital in Jonkoping where they were being treated.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven condemned the “horrific violence” in a statement published on his Facebook page.

“We face these despicable actions with the combined force of the community,” Lofven said.

“We are reminded of how frail our safe existence is,” Lofven added, encouraging people to have the victims in their thoughts, as well as health workers and police tending to wounded and working to restore peace.

Speaking at a press conference, regional police chief Malena Grann later clarified that a preliminary investigation was still under the designation “attempted murder,” but details had emerged that meant they were also looking into “potential terror motives.”

“There are details in the investigation that have led us to investigate whether there was a terror motive,” Grann said, without giving details.

Grann added the police are working closely with the Swedish intelligence service Sapo.

The suspect was a resident of the area and previously known to police, but in the past had only been suspected of “petty crimes.” Police did not specify if he was a Swedish citizen.

The extent of his injuries were also unknown but police said they believed they would be able question him.

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Swedish intelligence services consider the terrorist threat to be high.

The Scandinavian country has been targeted twice by attacks in recent years.

In December 2010, a man carried out a suicide bomb attack in the centre of Stockholm. He died after only slightly injuring passers-by.

In April 2017, a radicalised Uzbek asylum seeker mowed down pedestrians in Stockholm with a stolen truck, killing five people. He was sentenced to life in prison.

- © AFP 2021.

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