Stockholm lorry rams crowds, killing at least three people

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A lorry has smashed into a store in central Stockholm, killing at least three people, Swedish police say.

Several people were also injured in the incident on Drottninggatan (Queen Street), one of the city’s major pedestrian streets.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said everything pointed to an act of terrorism.

Local media reported one arrest, but police have said no-one is being held.

The police have also released a grainy image of a man, who was caught on CCTV and is deemed a person of interest in the case.

The lorry was hijacked earlier on Friday, its owner said.

The crash happened at the Ahlens department store just before 15:00 local time (13:00 GMT).

Swedish brewery Spendrups said its lorry had been stolen on its way to a restaurant delivery.

“Someone jumped into the driver’s cabin and drove off with the vehicle while the driver was unloading,” a brewery spokesperson told the TT news agency.

Shots were reportedly fired in another part of the city, but Swedish police told local media there was no connection between the two incidents.

Witnesses say the lorry drove into the front window of the Ahlens store.

One eyewitness told the BBC she was in the shop’s fitting room when she heard the screams. “There was blood everywhere,” she said.

The shop sits close to the city’s central station, which was evacuated.

The metro was also suspended after the attack.

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Analysis, by Frank Gardner, BBC’s Security Correspondent

I was in Stockholm yesterday, ironically at a security conference. I don’t think Sweden was prepared for something like this.

The last big terror incident they had was in 2010 when a failed suicide bomber blew himself up in a car in central Stockholm.

The country has good intelligence-gathering apparatus: Sapo, the Swedish equivalent to the UK’s MI5 agency, have got the finger on the problem, but the legislation is not there to deal with it.

Insiders have been concerned for quite some time that Sweden has been a bit lax about security. It is important at this stage, though, to keep an open mind about the perpetrator. It’s not impossible that it was someone with personal, psychological problems, rather than a political motive.

Officials told nearby shoppers to stay inside buildings in the immediate vicinity while the area was secured, and the wider public were advised to keep away from the city centre.

Eyewitness Gustav Hokkanen spoke to the BBC while taking refuge in a nearby shop.

“We’re being told to stay here,” he said. “I’m about 25 metres from where the incident happened. Usually I work there… It’s a total lockdown right now. It’s madness at the moment. There are lots of police outside.”

Another shopper, Niklas Edren, was still in a locked-down building, one block away from Drottninggatan, three hours after the attack.

He said, “There seems to be a feeling now that it is over, but there are still police everywhere.”

Timeline: Vehicle ramming attacks in the west

  • 14 July 2016, Nice, France: A man drove a lorry for 2km (1.2 miles) through a large crowd gathered to watch Bastille Day fireworks in Nice. Eighty-six people were killed, and more than 300 injured.
  • 28 November 2016, Ohio, United States: An 18-year-old student rammed his car into a group of pedestrians at Ohio State University and stabbed others. Eleven people were injured before he was shot and killed.
  • 19 December 2016, Berlin, Germany: The attack in Berlin killed 12 people and injured 49, when a man drove a lorry through the crowded Breitscheidplatz Christmas market. So-called Islamic State said one of its “soldiers” carried out the attack.
  • 22 March 2017, London, United Kingdom: Six people died and at least 50 were injured when a car mounted the pavement on London’s Westminster bridge and drove at high speed through pedestrians. The attacker then entered the parliament complex on foot and fatally stabbed a police officer, before being shot.
  • 23 March 2017, Antwerp, Belgium: A man was caught by soldiers after he drove at a crowd. Knives, a non-lethal gun and a dangerous substance were found in his car – but no-one was injured. Terror charges were later dropped.

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