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Truck drives into crowds in Stockholm killing three people, Sweden PM calls it ‘terror attack’

Three people were killed when a truck drove into a crowd on a shopping street and crashed into a department store in central Stockholm on Friday.

world Updated: Apr 07, 2017 20:43 IST
Sweden,Stockholm truck crash,Terror attack
Ambulance in a street near the site were a truck was driven into a crowd in central Stockholm, Sweden April 7, 2017. (REUTERS Photo)

Three people were killed when a truck drove into a crowd on a shopping street and crashed into a department store in central Stockholm on Friday, police said.

Prime minister Stefan Lofven said everything indicated the crash was a terrorist attack, according to the national news agency TT. Part of central Stockholm was cordoned off and the area was evacuated. Large numbers of police and emergency services were at the scene.

Follow our live updates on the Stockholm attack

Live television footage on Friday showed smoke coming out of the upscale Ahlens department store on Drottninggatan Street, which the truck smashed into. The department store is part of Sweden-wide chain. The building includes several stores at street-level.

“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.”

“I saw at least three dead, but probably more,” Radio Sweden reporter Martin Svenningsen said.

TT reported that police confirmed the three deaths.

A Reuters witness saw a number of body-like forms covered by blankets at the scene of the incident.

Several attacks in which trucks or cars have driven into crowds have taken place in Europe in the past year. Al Qaeda in 2010 urged its followers to use trucks as a weapon.

In London on March 22 this year, 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.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for both an attack in Nice, France, last July, when a truck killed 86 people celebrating Bastille Day, and one in Berlin in December, when a truck smashed through a Christmas market, killing 12 people.

In 2014, IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani called for attacks on citizens of Western countries and gave instructions on how they could be carried out without military equipment, using rocks or knives, or by running people over in vehicles.

There have also been false alerts, however.

Earlier Friday, Belgium dropped terrorism charges against a driver who sped into a crowded shopping area in Antwerp last month, which sparked fears of a copy-cat terror attack.

First Published: Apr 07, 2017 20:05 IST