Four people were killed when a hijacked beer truck ploughed into a crowd on a shopping street and crashed into a department store in central Stockholm on Friday.

The incident occurred just before 13:00 GMT at the corner of the Ahlens department store and Drottninggatan, the city’s biggest pedestrian street, above-ground from Stockholm’s central subway station.

“We stood inside a shoe store and heard something … and then people started to scream,” witness Jan Granroth told the Aftonbladet daily. “I looked out of the store and saw a big truck.”

A truck is seen after it crashed into the department store [Andreas Schyman/TT News Agency via Reuters]

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said everything indicated it was “a terror attack”.

“We are thinking of the dead and the injured and their families. I am urging the public to be vigilant and keep updating the police,” Lofven said.

Photos from the scene showed a beer truck sticking out of the department store, and Aftonbladet reported that Swedish beer maker Spendrups said one of its vehicles had been carjacked earlier on Friday.

Lars Bystrom, a police spokesman, confirmed to Swedish media that four people were killed and 12 others injured.

One man has been arrested for “some kind of involvement” in the attack, Bystrom said.

The vehicle reportedly caught fire after driving through the busy pedestrian zone and slamming into the building.

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Body-like forms covered by blankets were seen on Drottninggatan. “I saw at least three dead, but probably more,” Swedish radio reporter Martin Svenningsen said.

Live television footage on Friday showed smoke coming out of the upscale Ahlens department store.

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.

An image of a suspect caught on a surveillance camera was later released by police. The picture showed a man wearing a white sweater and dark hoodie under a military green jacket, with dark stubble on his face.

The European Union offered Sweden support and solidarity on Friday.

“An attack on any of our member states is an attack on us all,” said EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker. “One of Europe’s most vibrant and colourful cities appears to have been struck by those wishing it – and our very way of life – harm.”

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We stand together against terror.”

Friday’s incident was near the site of a December 2010 attack in which Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish citizen who lived in Britain, detonated a suicide bomb, killing himself and injuring two others.

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Several attacks in which trucks or cars have driven into crowds have taken place in Europe in the past year.

In London last month, a man in a car ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four, and then stabbed a policeman to death before being shot by police.

In Nice, France, last July, a truck killed 86 people celebrating Bastille Day, and one in Berlin in December smashed through a Christmas market, killing 12 people.

Sweden’s police officers stand guard in central Stockholm after the truck attack on Friday [Daniel Dikson/Reuters]
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies



STOCKHOLM — A man drove a stolen beer truck into a crowd of people in a popular shopping district in Stockholm on Friday afternoon and then rammed it into a department store, killing four people and injuring 15 others in an attack that unleashed bloodshed on the streets of another European capital.

“Sweden has been attacked,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in a statement. “All indications are that it was a terrorist attack.”

The police have “caught one person of particular interest,” Jan Evensson, the chief of regional police, said in a news conference Friday evening.

“He fits the description of the person in the photo we published,” he said, in reference to a photograph released by the police of a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt. “We hope it’s the same guy.”


A picture showing a man who is wanted in connection with the truck attack in Stockholm was released by the Swedish police on Friday.CreditStockholm Police

In a late-night news conference, the prime minister said: “Our whole country is in a state of shock. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

Mr. Lofven said control had been tightened on Sweden’s borders, and he praised Swedes for opening their homes to people who were stranded in the city as public transportation was shut down after the attack.

“If it’s a terrorist act, the aim is to undermine democracy, but such acts will never succeed in Sweden,” he said. “Our message is clear: You will never ever win.”

The authorities said they did not know whether the episode was an isolated assault or something bigger. The Swedish intelligence agency said “a large number” of people had been injured.

Mats Lofving, the head of the Swedish police’s national operations department, said, “This is now declared a national security event,” adding that officers across the nation were on heightened alert.

The Stockholm police confirmed on Twitter that four people were dead and 15 others wounded.

The Swedish Parliament was on lockdown, according to news reports. Train service had resumed by the evening, but the police, who blocked off the affected area, urged people to stay at home and avoid the city center.

The first emergency call came in around 2:50 p.m. local time as the attack unfolded in Drottninggatan, Stockholm’s busiest shopping street, the police said. Witnesses described a scene of panic and terror.

“I saw hundreds of people running; they ran for their lives” before the truck crashed into the Ahlens department store, a witness identified only as Anna told the newspaper Aftonbladet.

Katarina Libert, 32, a freelance journalist, was trying on clothes at the department store when she heard a boom and the walls shook.

The front part of the truck ended up inside the department store.Credit Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

At first, she said, she thought the noise was people moving things around the store, but then the fire alarm went off and staff members told her and other shoppers to leave the building.

“We were running, we were crying, everyone was in shock,” Ms. Libert said. “We rushed down the street, and I glanced to the right and saw the truck. People were lying on the ground. They were not moving.”

She said that she usually avoided busy areas that could be potential terrorist targets, but that she had decided to take the Friday afternoon off to do some shopping.


The police outside Stockholm’s central train station. Security was increased on Friday after the attack at a department store nearby. Credit Tt News Agency/Reuters

“Some people felt that this was just a matter of time,” she said. “Paris, Brussels, London and now Stockholm. I just had a feeling something like this would happen.”


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An armed British police officer stands on duty as members of the emergency services gather at the Carriage Gates during the incident.

An armed police officer stands on duty as members of the emergency services gather at the Carriage Gates, UK Parliamanet, near Westminster Bridge during the incident on March 22, 2017. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

© AFP | A flower left in tribute to the victims of the London March 22 terror attack placed next to the Palace of Westminster

Image result for Berlin Christmas market aftermath attack, photos

German police investigate at the Berlin Christmas market, December 19, 2016. Berlin Police stated 12 people were killed and 48 injured in the deadly truck attack.

The truck that ran into a crowd is riddled with bullet holes