A suspected terrorist targeted young children as he drove a hijacked lorry into a crowded shopping street in Stockholm, witnesses claimed last night.
Infants’ buggies were sent “flying through the air”, one Swedish broadcaster reported, as the vehicle zigzagged along the pedestrianised Queen Street shopping district and embedded itself in the window of a department store.
“It swerved from side to side. It didn’t look out of control, it was trying to hit people,” a second witness, Glen Foran, an Australian tourist, told Reuters. “It hit people, it was terrible. It hit a pram with a kid in it, demolished it.”
Swedish police said on Saturday morning that they believe a 39-year-old suspect was behind the truck attack which left four dead and 15 injured, but declined to comment on reports that the suspect was a father-of-four from Uzbekistan.
The unnamed suspect reportedly confessed to the attack after being detained in Marsta, which is around 25 miles north of the Swedish capital.
Some reports suggested he had previously posted jihadist propaganda on his Facebook page and had images of people injured in the explosion at the Boston marathon in April 2013.
Police found explosives in the truck used in the attack in Stockholm, Swedish television said on Saturday citing multiple unnamed police sources.
Eight victims, including children, remain in hospital, according to Swedish media. Three of the victims died at the scene, a report said, while one died after arriving at the hospital.
Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said everything indicated the incident was terrorism.
It happened less than two weeks after the Westminster Bridge attack and stirred up memories of the attacks in Nice and Berlin where Islamist sympathisers used lorries as weapons – a tactic first suggested in a 2010 directive from al-Qaeda commanders to their supporters.
The attack also came less than two months after Donald Trump provoked a row with Sweden after suggesting that immigration had led to rising crime in the country.
Television footage showed hundreds of shoppers and office workers fleeing the scene after the lorry careered down the pedestrian precinct, killing a dog and crushing flowerpots and litter bins as it went.
“We stood inside a shoe store and heard something and then people started to scream. I looked out of the store and saw a big truck,” Jan Granroth told Aftonbladet.
After attack in Berlin in December 2016, I wrote in my Article “I Don’t Want To Be Next” that no one is immune and next time is might be me or you. I think that the only way to address this issue is to finally identify the core reason for me. Until then, innocent people will continue to die. I just wonder, how many more people shall lose their lives for us to finally start doing something about it. Because whatever measures were taken so far, simply are not effective.