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Police: Man Arrested over Stockholm Attack Suspected Driver of Truck | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Police officers guard at the downtown in Stockholm. Reuters photo

A man arrested on “suspicion of terrorist crime” was likely to be the driver of the truck that killed four people in central Stockholm, Swedish police said Saturday.

“We suspect that the man who was arrested is the perpetrator,” Stockholm police spokesman Lars Bystrom said. “Then, there can be other people who are associated with him, but we do not know that at the current time.”

The attack occurred just before 3:00 pm when a stolen beer truck slammed into the corner of the bustling Ahlens store and the popular pedestrian street Drottninggatan. Four people were killed and 15 injured, nine of them seriously.

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

Bystrom said the arrested man “could be the same person in the picture”.

Prosecutors ordered the man arrested on “suspicion of terror crime through the act of murder.”

According to the newspaper Aftonbladet, the individual in the photo is a 39-year-old man of Uzbek origin and a supporter of ISIS. A police spokesperson declined to comment on the information.

Citing multiple unnamed police sources, public broadcaster SVT said that police had found a bag containing explosives in the truck.

But the head of the Swedish Security Police told Swedish TV4 that he could not confirm whether explosives had been found.

If confirmed as a terror attack, it would be Sweden’s first such deadly assault. Police said security at Swedish borders had been heightened.

“Our message will always be clear: you will not defeat us, you will not govern our lives, you will never, ever win,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who had earlier described the assault as a terrorist attack, told a news conference.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Stockholmers opened up their homes and offered lifts to people who were unable to get home or needed a place to stay.

“Our thoughts are going out to those that were affected, and to their families,” Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf said in a statement, while European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker said an attack on any of the bloc’s member states “is an attack on us all”.