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Truck runs into Stockholm departmental store, 3 dead

Truck runs into Stockholm departmental store, 3 dead
A man steered a stolen beer truck into a crowd of people and then rammed it into a department store, killing at least three people in the heart of Stockholm on Friday afternoon, the police and local news outlets reported.

The Swedish intelligence agency said "a large number" of people had been wounded in what officials were calling a terrorist assault.

"Sweden has been attacked. All indications are that it was a terrorist attack," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in a statement.

The Swedish Parliament was on lockdown, according to news reports. Train service in and out of the city grounded to a halt, and the police, which blocked off the affected area, urged people to stay at home and avoid the city center. The police said the first emergency call came in around 2:50 pm local time as the attack unfolded in Drottninggatan, Stockholm's busiest shopping street.

Local media reported one arrest, but police have said no-one is being held. The police have also released a grainy image of a man, who was caught on CCTV and is deemed a person of interest in the case. The lorry was hijacked earlier on Friday, its owner said. Swedish brewery Spendrups said its lorry had been stolen on its way to a restaurant delivery.

"Someone jumped into the driver's cabin and drove off with the vehicle while the driver was unloading," a brewery spokesperson told the TT news agency.

Shots were reportedly fired in another part of the city, but Swedish police told local media there was no connection between the two incidents.

Witnesses described a scene of panic and terror. "I saw hundreds of people running; they ran for their lives" before the truck crashed into the Ahlens department store, a witness identified only as Anna told the newspaper Aftonbladet.

Katarina Libert, a 32-year-old freelance journalist, was trying on clothes at the department store when she heard a boom and the walls shook. At first, she said, she thought the noise was people moving things around the store, but then the fire alarm went off and staff members told her and other shoppers to get out of the building.

"We were running, we were crying, everyone was in shock," Libert said. "We rushed down the street, and I glanced to the right and saw the truck. People were lying on the ground. They were not moving." Libert followed others as they were guided by officials to shelter. She said that she usually avoided busy areas that could be potential terrorist targets, but that she had decided to take the Friday afternoon off to do some shopping. The front part of the truck ended up inside the department store. The assault came after several other episodes in Europe in the past year in which a vehicle was used to attack people.


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