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4 dead as truck rams crowd in Sweden

A truck ploughed into a crowd on a shopping street and crashed into a department store in central Stockholm on Friday, killing four people and wounding 15 in what the prime minister said appeared to be a terrorist attack.

Police said they had detained one person in a northern Stockholm suburb after earlier circulating a picture of a man wearing a grey hoodie in connection with the investigation into the attack on Drottninggatan (Queen St.) using a hijacked beer truck.

Prosecutors ordered the man arrested on suspicion of terror crime through the act of murder. He was arrested on the highest level of suspicion in the Swedish legal system.

Swedish public service radio, citing a source at an unidentified German authority, reported that the suspect in custody was Uzbek. A police spokesperson declined to comment on the information.

Local authorities in the capital said early Saturday that six of the injured had been able to leave hospital while eight adults and one child remained hospitalized.

Swedish public broadcaster SVT reported police had detained a second man and that he had a connection to the previously arrested person, citing police sources. The police declined to comment on whether it had arrested any additional suspects.

“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.

Police said security at Swedish borders had been heightened. They did not rule out the possibility other attackers were involved.

“I turned around and saw a big truck coming towards me. It swerved from side to side. It didn’t look out of control.

It was trying to hit people,” Glen Foran, an Australian tourist in his 40s, told Reuters.

“It hit people; it was terrible. It hit a pram with a kid in it, demolished it,” he said. “It took a long time for police to get here. I suppose from their view it was quick, but it felt like forever.”

The area of the attack in central Stockholm was evacuated, including the main rail station, and remained cordoned off late on Friday. All subway traffic was halted on police orders and government offices were closed. (Reuters)

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