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Four dead after terror truck ploughs into shoppers in Stockholm

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
The scene of the terror truck attack on Drottninggatan, Stockholm
The scene of the terror truck attack on Drottninggatan, Stockholm

Four people have died and nine are seriously injured after a terrorist used a lorry to plough through pedestrians in Stockholm.

Emergency services said a total of 15 people, including children, were being treated following the outrage in a busy shopping district at the heart of the Swedish capital.

A manhunt is under way for the driver of the vehicle, who police said is still at large.

Swedish security services said they were treating the atrocity as a terror attack, but police added they had yet to confirm it as one.

A spokesman for Stockholm police said: "We can confirm that four people died and 15 are injured."

At a later press conference, police added they could not rule out that the death toll would rise.

Detectives arrested a man who matched the description of the person who they issued an image of in the wake of the onslaught.

At least one of the victims died after arriving at hospital, she added.

Border control has been reinforced in response to the attack and the area where the lorry crashed remains sealed off, police said.

A spokeswoman for Stockholm County Council said: "We have 15 injured, adults and children, who are being taken care of at hospital.

"Nine of them are seriously injured."

At least one of the victims died after arriving at hospital, she added.

A police spokesman said: "The driver of the lorry, we have not made contact with him."

The lorry ploughed into the corner of a department store and burst into flames.

Broadcaster SVT reported that at least five people had been killed. Other Swedish media reported the toll to be at least three.

Senior police officer Mats Lofving said: "We don't know whether this incident is isolated or whether we can expect more.

"We have police positioned at several strategic places with a particular risk threat."

Widespread condemnation poured in from across the globe as news of the attack broke, including from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Secretary Boris

Johnson, who said he was "deeply concerned".

President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: "An attack on any of our Member States is an attack on us all."

The incident comes after trucks were used in terror attacks in Nice and Berlin last year and just two weeks after Muslim convert Khalid Masood ploughed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London.

The Aftonbladet newspaper reported that the truck had been hijacked from Swedish beermaker Spendrups earlier on Friday.

The lorry smashed through stone lion bollards into the pedestrianised area, leaving a trail of blood and debris.

Witness Jan Granroth told Aftonbladet that "we stood inside a shoe store and heard something ... and then people started to scream." He said: "I looked out of the store and saw a big truck."

Another witness quoted by the paper said: "When I came out, I saw a lorry standing there, with smoke coming from it, and there were loads of bits of cars and broken flower pots along the street."

Mikael Anttila, a 49-year-old portfolio manager at bank SEB, told the Press Association he saw several hundred people gathered on the street close to the shop, before they all started running "suddenly ... like ants".

"Then a lot of police started coming. Heavy weapons, civilian police, etcetera," he said.

Annevi Peterson described people lying dead and injured in the street, with blood everywhere.

"I heard the noise, I heard the screams, I saw the people," she told BBC News.

"There was, just outside the store, there was a dead dog, the owner screaming, there was a lady lying with a severed foot.

"There was blood everywhere, there were bodies on the ground everywhere.

"There was a sense of panic, people standing by their loved ones, but also people running away."

The crash is close to the scene of a terror attack in 2010 when Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish citizen who lived in Luton, blew himself up.

The terrorist, who police concluded acted alone, died on December 11 2010 in the Bryggargatan area. No one else was killed.

Abdulwahab rigged an Audi car with explosives in the hope that the blast would drive people to Drottninggatan, a busy shopping street, where he was waiting to set off two more devices strapped to his chest and back.

The car bomb never went off and, after setting fire to the Audi, he was unable to detonate the other two explosives as planned.

He made his way down a side street off Drottninggatan and, in an apparent attempt to fix the faulty trigger up his sleeve, set off the bomb on the front of his body, killing only himself.