Sat Apr 8, 2017 6:42AM
Police officers are seen in the Hjulsta suburb of Stockholm after a raid following an attack, on the Drottninggatan Street, central Stockholm, Sweden, April 8, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Police officers are seen in the Hjulsta suburb of Stockholm after a raid following an attack, on the Drottninggatan Street, central Stockholm, Sweden, April 8, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
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Police in Sweden have arrested a man in connection with a recent deadly attack in the country’s capital, where a truck rammed into a department store, leaving four people dead and 15 others injured.

“One person has been arrested on suspicion of terrorist crimes through murder,” said Karin Rosander, a spokesperson for the Swedish prosecutor’s office, on Saturday.

The truck had plowed into a crowd outside the busy Ahlens department store on the central street of Drottninggatan in Stockholm on Friday. The driver fled the scene, and security forces launched an operation to find him and other potential suspects, leading to the arrest of the one individual.

According to police, the arrestee is a 39-year-old man of Uzbek origin that “matched the description” of the suspected driver as captured in photos apparently by closed-circuit cameras.

Emergency services work at the scene where a truck plowed into people and then crashed into the Ahlens department store at Drottninggatan in central Stockholm, April 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Police said later on Saturday that the arrestee is likely “the culprit” of the attack, i.e. the driver of the truck.

Swedish media said the Uzbek suspect (pictured below) was a supporter of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group but police have yet to confirm that assertion.

The deadly assault was Sweden’s first but was the latest in a series of similar attacks with vehicles elsewhere in Europe, including the southern French city of Nice, the German capital of Berlin, and the British capital, London.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has called the Friday assault “a terror attack.”

“Terrorists want us to be afraid, want us to change our behavior, want us to not live our lives normally, but that is what we’re going to do. So terrorists can never defeat Sweden, never,” he said.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven wipes off tears as he arrives to lay flowers at the scene of an attack outside a busy department store in central Stockholm, April 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

‘Explosives found’

Meanwhile, Swedish broadcaster SVT, citing multiple unnamed police sources, said security forces had found a bag of explosives in the truck that was used in the Friday attack.

Expressions of Sympathy

World politicians have condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with the victims.

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack and voiced sympathy for the victims’ families, saying, “We hope that those responsible for the attack will be swiftly brought to justice.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the Friday incident was an attack against all member countries of the European Union (EU). “An attack on any of our member states is an attack on us all.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said his country stood with Sweden “against terror,” and offered sympathy for those involved in the attack.

French President Francois Hollande also expressed his “horror and indignation” at the attack, saying, “France expresses its sympathy and solidarity with the families of the victims and all Swedes.”

A woman lays flowers at the scene of a Friday attack outside a busy department store in central Stockholm, Sweden, April 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet that he was “deeply concerned by shocking incident in Stockholm,” adding that, “Britain’s thoughts are with the victims, their families and the whole of Sweden.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also called the attack “terrible news” and said, “Our thoughts go out to the victims and survivors.”

In a Twitter message, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was “closely following the attack in Stockholm,” adding that, “Condolences to the victims and best wishes for recovery to the wounded. We stand by your side Sweden.”