A photo issued by Swedish police of a man they want to trace in connection with Fridays attack. Photograph: Swedish police/PA
Swedish police had earlier issued a picture of a person they said was of interest in connection with the attack. Mats Lfving, the head of the national operations department, said the image, which appeared to be from CCTV footage, was taken close to the time of the incident in the vicinity of the attack.
I have a picture of a person who has been seen at the location at this point in time. We want to get in contact with this person, Lfving told a news conference.
Lars Bystrm, a police spokesman, said two people were being questioned, but that does not necessarily mean that they are suspects.
We want to talk to everybody who knows anything about this and sometimes its better to talk at the police station than [at the] place of event, Bystrm said. He added that nine of the 15 injured people were seriously hurt.
Witnesses described their terror as the truck careered through the city centre. I was terrified. I am still shaking. I saw a woman who had lost her legs it could have been me, one told Swedish news channel SVT. The truck went at high speed. It crushed everything in its path.
Another witness said: He mowed down eight people and I saw four bodies a little further away. A woman with a small child became completely paralysed and just stood still. I grabbed her and another woman and threw us all into a stairwell.
Smoke billowed from the spot where the beer delivery truck ploughed into the upmarket hlens department store in the Drottninggatan area. The vehicle had been hijacked shortly beforehand, when a masked man jumped into the empty cab and drove it away, the trucks owner told reporters.
After public transport was shut down, Swedes launched the Twitter hashtag #openstockholm for anyone in the city willing to open their home to stranded commuters.
The terror risk remained high, police said, but the threat level for Stockholm was not raised after the attack.
Swedish political leaders expressed sympathy for relatives of the dead and injured, while urging people not to jump to conclusions about the attackers motives. It is a horrible attack in Stockholm, lots of thoughts for the families of the victims, very important to avoid speculation and let police and others do their jobs, tweeted Anna Kinberg Batra, the leader of the centre-right opposition Moderate party.
Smoke billows from building after truck crash in Stockholm – video
Let our thoughts go to the victims and their relatives, said Jimmie kesson, the leader of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, now neck and neck with the Moderates as the largest opposition party on the right.
The attack, just hours after the
US launched cruise missile strikes on military targets in Syria, appears to follow a deadly pattern that has emerged in Europe over the past year. Steal a lorry or a car and then drive it into a crowd. That seems to be the latest terrorist method. Berlin. London. Now Stockholm, tweeted Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister.
European politicians expressed solidarity, with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European commission, saying it was an attack on us all.
A spokesman for the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said: Our thoughts go out to the people in Stockholm, to the injured, their relatives, rescuers and police We stand together against terror.
The French president, Franois Hollande, voiced his horror and indignation over the assault.
Two weeks ago, 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masood
drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, killing four. The attacker fatally stabbed a policeman before he was shot dead by police. A fifth person died after her life support was turned off on Thursday. People running from scene after Sweden truck crash – video
In December, 12 people died after a Tunisian man
drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin. Eighty-six people were killed and more than 400 injured after a 31-year-old Tunisian man ploughed a truck into a crowd of people on the promenade in Nice, France, last July.
Islamic State, the Islamist militant group that has seized swaths of Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility for those attacks.
The Stockholm killings come two months after the US president, Donald Trump, was widely ridiculed for
referring to a non-existent terror attack in Sweden.
Trumps remark prompted a fierce international debate over the consequences of Swedens 2015 open-door refugee policy, which led to 163,000 people claiming asylum after fleeing wars in the Middle East, north Africa and Afghanistan. Early in 2016, Sweden reversed its position and the flow of asylum seekers has drastically fallen.
However, in the countrys cities, which are highly segregated, Islamist ideas have found a hearing among
small numbers of disaffected young people with immigrant backgrounds.
Since 2012, nearly 300 people have travelled from Sweden to join violent Islamist groups, according to Swedish security services, making the country second only to Belgium as the largest contributor of Islamist militants from Europe.
Emergency services at the scene after truck crashes in Stockholm video
Some 50 people have died in the fighting and more than 150 have returned. Last year Marilyn Nevalainen, a white, Swedish 14-year-old who fell in love with a north African refugee, was rescued from Isis militants in Mosul after she followed the man to war.
Many of the young Swedish recruits come from vulnerable backgrounds and have low or no incomes, according to Magnus Ranstorp, an extremism expert at the Swedish Defence University in Stockholm. Some of the girls joining Isis are merely impressionable and following their boyfriends, while others are groomed online and want to rebel against patriarchal restrictions in their families.
The flow of Islamist fighters from Sweden has slowed and travel to Syria and Iraq has now virtually ceased, according to Anna Carlstedt, the countrys national coordinator against violent extremism.
But the government has faced criticism for failing to put in place structures for reintegrating radicalised returnees into Swedish society. Liberal politicians last week accused ministers of being paralysed in their attempts to deal with violent extremism.
Police assist people on the streets of Stockholm. Photograph: IBL/Rex/Shutterstock
If the Stockholm incident is a terror attack, it will be the first in Sweden since an Iraqi-born Swedish man exploded a bomb in the city during the Christmas period in 2010, killing himself but injuring no one. Nearby he had packed a car with explosives.
An attack on any of our [EU] member states is an attack on us all, Juncker said on Friday. One of Europes most vibrant and colourful cities appears to have been struck by those wishing it and our very way of life harm.
Recent vehicle attacks 14 July 2016: Nice, France
Eighty-six people were killed and 434 were injured after a 19-tonne cargo truck drove into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais. The driver was a French resident of Tunisian origin, 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who was shot dead at the scene by police. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack. The following day, Hollande extended Frances state of emergency, which was due to be lifted after being put in place after the
November 2015 attacks in Paris. 19 December 2016: Berlin, Germany
A hijacked truck was deliberately driven into the Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 56. Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri, 24, who had had his application for refugee status rejected, took control of the truck and sped into locals and tourists visiting the market. The trucks original driver was found shot dead in the passenger seat. After the attack, Isis released a video of Amri pledging allegiance to the groups leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
8 January 2017: Jerusalem
A Palestinian attacker killed four people and injured 15 after driving a truck into a group of uniformed Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers. The attack took place in east Jerusalem, as a group of soldiers were disembarking from a bus. The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, blamed Isis for the attack, which was then claimed by an unknown Palestinian group called the Martyr of Baha Alyan Collective, which stated political motives.
22 March 2017: London, UK
Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. Masood then abandoned the car, proceeded to the Houses of Parliament and stabbed to death an unarmed police officer, Keith Palmer. A fifth person, Andreea Cristea, 31,
died on Thursday. A total of 50 people were injured, including local residents and tourists. Masood is believed to have followed online terror manuals guiding attackers to use large vehicles as weapons and to stab people. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack but no evidence has been found to support this. Hanna Yusuf