The Cable

Truck Rams Crowd in Stockholm In Likely Terrorist Attack

The attack occurred on one of Stockholm's busiest pedestrian streets.


A truck rammed into a crowded street in Central Stockholm Friday afternoon, killing two to three people and injuring a “large number,” according to police. “Sweden has been attacked. Everything indicates an act of terror,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in a press conference shortly after the attack.

The incident took place on Drottninggatan, one of the city’s busiest pedestrian streets near major shopping centers. Witnesses say they saw a large truck plough through a crowd and slam into a department store. “I was on my way to the exit and just saw the wall coming towards us like an avalanche,” said one witness, Christoffer as reported. “People turned in panic and fled towards the exits. Then the main thing was to get away from the scene as quickly as possible. My first thought was that a bomb had exploded,” he said.

Local reporters captured footage of the immediate aftermath of the incident and crowds fleeing the scene:

Police cleared the area and set up barriers around the scene of the incident.

“We are still trying to determine who the attacker was, if the attack was carried by one or more people, and the number of injured,” Swedish security service (Säpo) spokesperson Nina Odermalm Schei said in a statement.

The chief of Säpo, Anders Thornberg, said they were investigating a “person of interest” in the case.

Authorities shut down Stockholm’s subway system and evacuated several shopping locations and the city’s main railway station after the incident. 

On March 22, an extremist in London rammed a car through crowds on Westminster bridge and attacked police with a knife, killing five and injuring 50. Terrorists also carried out deadly attacks by driving vehicles into crowds in Berlin and Nice last year.

The company that owned the truck in the Stockholm incident, brewery company Spendrups, say the truck was stolen Thursday. “It’s one of our distribution vehicles which runs deliveries. During a delivery to the restaurant Caliente someone jumped into the driver’s cabin and drove off with the car, while the driver unloads,” company spokesperson Mårten Lyth told Swedish TT news outlet.

The incident took place in the same area as a 2010 suicide bomb attack during Christmas shopping season. Only the bomber died in that attack.

Stay tuned for updates to the story here.

This article was updated to include new developments on the story.

Photo credit: ANDREAS SCHYMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

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