Three people were killed and many others were injured after a truck drove into pedestrians on a busy street in Stockholm, Sweden, before ramming into a department store on Friday, the police have confirmed. Soon after the incident on Drottninggatan – a street in the central shopping district close to the city’s main train station – there were reports of shots being fired.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven had earlier said that one suspect was detained in connection with the incident. However, the police department later said no one was arrested, reported AP. Investigators are now trying to identify the attacker in custody and determine whether he had acted alone.
The Swedish police also shared a picture of a person of interest for them in connection with the attack, Reuters reported. The man in the image is seen wearing a jacket and covering his head with a hood.
Lofven had earlier said that Sweden was “under attack” and all indications pointed to a “terror attack”. According to Swedish broadcaster SVT reported, the toll in the attack stood at five. The country’s intelligence agency Sapo has deduced that the truck had rammed into people in a “deliberate” attack. “There are deaths, and many injured,” Sapo spokesperson Nina Odermalm Schei told AFP.
The Swedish Police were informed of the incident around 2.50 pm (local time). Eyewitnesses told local newspaper Aftonbladet that “hundreds of people ran for their lives”, according to Russia Today. The company that owns the truck used by the attacker said the vehicle had been stolen.
Officers and ambulances are currently at the site and have cordoned off the street in central Stockholm. A photograph shared online shows the truck crashed into Åhlens department store. The vehicle caught fire after the collision.
All subway services in Stockholm have been shut down, according to local TT news agency. People have been warned to steer clear of the city centre.
The incident took place 100 metres from the Indian Embassy in Stockholm. An official at the consulate said all Indian staff were safe. Indian Ambassador to Sweden Monika Mohta told ANI that she saw two people lying on the street, “heard loud noises” and saw three others injured.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack in Stockholm and said, “My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with those injured. India stands firmly with the people of Sweden in this hour of grief.”
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the attack was very close to the Indian Embassy and that she is in touch with the Indian Ambassador in Sweden. “Our embassy officials are safe,” she said. The minister also shared emergency numbers for the Indians stuck in Stockholm.