STOCKHOLM - A truck slammed into a crowd
of people outside a busy department store in
central Stockholm on Friday, causing
"deaths" in what the prime minister
described as a "terror attack."
"There are deaths, and many injured,"
Nina Odermalm Schei, a spokeswoman for
Swedish intelligence agency Sapo, said,
without giving a precise figure.
"Sweden has been attacked. Everything
points to a terror attack," said Prime
Minister Stefan Lofven.
Pictures showed a large blue truck with a
mangled undercarriage smashed into the
Ahlens department store.
The incident occurred just before 1300
GMT at the corner of the store and
Drottninggatan, the city's biggest
pedestrian street, above ground from
Stockholm's central subway station.
Thick smoke was rising from the scene,
while video images showed an area blocked
off by police and crowds gathering around
the police cordon.
Police vans circulating in the city using
loudspeakers urged people to go straight
home and avoid large crowds.
Helicopters could be heard hovering in
the sky over central Stockholm, and a large
number of police cars and ambulances were
dispatched to the scene, witnesses said.
A spokeswoman for transport company
Spendrups told AFP that the truck "had been
stolen during a delivery to a restaurant."
Traffic on the Stockholm metro was badly
affected, with the attack taking place at
the city's T-Centralen station, through
which all the city's lines pass.
- Latest truck attack in Europe -
The attack followed a string of assaults
in Europe by people using vehicles as
The deadliest attack came last year in
France on the Bastille Day national holiday
of July 14, when a man rammed a truck into a
crowd in the Mediterranean resort of Nice,
killing 86 people.
He was shot dead by police, and the
Islamic State group later claimed
Last month, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old
convert to Islam known to British security
services, drove a car at high speed into
pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge
before launching a frenzied knife attack on
a policeman guarding the parliament
The incident killed five people, while
Masood himself was shot dead by police.
And in December, a man hijacked a truck
and slammed into shoppers at a Christmas
market in Berlin, killing 12 people.
That attacker was shot dead by police in
Milan four days later, and the rampage was
claimed by the IS.
In 2014, IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani
called for attacks on citizens of Western
countries and gave instructions on how they
could be carried out without military
equipment, using rocks or knives, or by
running people over in vehicles.
There have also been false alerts,
Earlier Friday, Belgium dropped terrorism
charges against a driver who sped into a
crowded shopping area in Antwerp last month,
which sparked fears of a copy-cat terror
However, the driver, a Tunisian man
identified as Mohamed R., remains in custody
on a weapons offence related to the
incident, the federal prosecutor's office