sábado, 8 de abril de 2017
Stockholm attack: suspect arrested for 'terrorist crime' after truck deaths
Police say man detained on Friday is suspected of being the truck driver and there might be ‘other people who are associated with him’
David Crouch in Stockholm and agencies
Saturday 8 April 2017 08.34 BST First published on Saturday 8 April 2017 06.00 BST
The driver of a hijacked beer delivery truck that careered into crowds on Stockholm’s largest shopping street, killing four and injuring many more, has been arrested on suspicion of a terrorist crime.
Police in Sweden’s capital confirmed that a man had been arrested “on suspicion of a terrorist crime through murder” after the attack on Friday afternoon, which saw the haulage vehicle drive down a pedestrianised street in the capital before crashing into a department store.
About 15 people were injured in the attack launched on Drottninggatan, one of the city’s main public thoroughfares. Six of the injured had been released from hospital by Saturday morning but nine remained under care, including a child.
Karin Rosander, a communications director at the Swedish prosecution authority, said early on Saturday that police suspected the arrested man had carried out the attack.
Swedish police released these images of a man suspected of being involved in the attack.
“The person in question has been arrested as the culprit ... in this case the driver,” police spokesman Lars Bystrom said.
A police patrol stopped the man on Friday after the attack because he had “behaved in a way that made him interesting”, and he resembled a suspect in photos issued by police shortly after the crash.
According to a report in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, citing a police source, the arrested man is a 39-year-old from Uzbekistan. He had minor injuries and broken glass on his clothes, which matched those of the man in the photos. He is said to have taken a train north from the city after the attack and was arrested in a suburb near the airport, although he lives elsewhere in Stockholm. The report has not been independently confirmed.
Police sources also reportedly told the Swedish broadcaster SVT that a bag of explosives was found in the truck and a bomb disposal unit was deployed overnight.
Other media reports said a second man had been detained on suspicion of being connected to the main suspect. The police declined to comment on whether it had arrested any other people.
If confirmed as a terrorist attack, it would be Sweden’s first such assault using a large vehicle.
The 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.
Restrictions on local transport imposed after the attack were lifted on Friday evening.
The attack occurred just before 3pm when the stolen truck crashed into the corner of the bustling Ahlens department store having driven at speed down the pedestrianised Drottninggatan, situated above Stockholm’s central subway station.
Pictures taken at the scene showed a large blue beer truck with a mangled undercarriage smashed into the department store.
Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic. “A massive truck starts driving ... and mangles everything and just drives over exactly everything,” Rikard Gauffin told Agence France-Presse. “It was so terrible and there were bodies lying everywhere ... it was really terrifying.”
The truck was towed away in the early hours of Saturday.
A witness who gave his name as Marko said he and his girlfriend were in a coffee shop near the scene when he saw the truck ram into the store.
“He hit a woman first, then he drove over a bunch of other people ... We took care of everyone lying on the ground,” he told Aftonbladet.
Hasan Sidi, another passerby, told Aftonbladet he saw two elderly women lying on the ground. He said people at the scene urged him to help one of the women who was “bleeding to death”.
“One of them died ... I don’t know if the other one made it,” Sidi said.
Friday’s attack was the latest in a string of similar assaults with vehicles in Europe, including in London, Berlin and Nice.
The deadliest came last year in France on the 14 July Bastille Day national holiday, when a man rammed a truck into a crowd in the Mediterranean resort of Nice, killing 86 people.
Agence France-Presse and Reuters also contributed to this report