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Swedish media name Stockholm truck attack suspect

Swedish media on Sunday identified the main suspect in the Stockholm truck attack as Rakhmat Akilov, an Uzbek construction worker and father-of-four who went underground to avoid being deported from Sweden.

world Updated: Apr 10, 2017 01:48 IST
Stockholm Truck attack

People crowded around flowers near the department store Ahlens in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday, April 9, 2017. A hijacked truck was driven into a crowd of pedestrians and crashed into a department store on Friday. (AP Photo)

Swedish media on Sunday identified the main suspect in the Stockholm truck attack as Rakhmat Akilov, an Uzbek construction worker and father-of-four who went underground to avoid being deported from Sweden.

Dailies Expressen and Aftonbladet published Akilov’s name and picture on Sunday.

Swedish police have only identified the suspect as a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan. He is suspected of driving a stolen beer truck down a busy pedestrian street mowing down shoppers before smashing into the facade of the Ahlens department store.

Four people were killed -- two Swedes including an 11-year-old girl, and a British man and a Belgian woman -- and 15 others were injured.

The suspect was arrested Friday evening in Marsta, a suburb around 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Stockholm.

According to sources close to the investigation cited by various media, the suspect, bloodied from the crash, fled the scene and ran into the nearby T-centralen subway station, taking advantage of the panic to blend into the crowd.

At 2:55 pm (1255 GMT), video surveillance cameras caught him in the subway system.

He then took an express train to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, and a bus from the airport to Marsta. His odd behaviour at a petrol station convenience store raised sales clerks’ attention, who alerted police.

Police arrested the man at the wheel of a white van, media said, and placed him under arrest on suspicion of “terrorist crime (by committing) murder”.

Investigators have remained tight-lipped but have said their suspicions have “strengthened” since his arrest.