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On Friday afternoon, a truck drove into pedestrians on one of Stockholm's busiest shopping streets. Swedish police have confirmed that at least three people have died and one arrest has been made. Here's what we know so far:
– Police were notified at 2:53 PM local time that a truck had hit pedestrians and driven into the Åhléns City shopping center in central Stockholm, right next to Sergels Square at Drottninggatan.
– Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports that the truck in question had allegedly been hijacked during a restaurant delivery.
– Central Stockholm is on "lockdown," a witness told VICE Sweden—public transportation vehicles are not to approach the Central Station, people in nearby buildings are not allowed to go outside, and everyone in central Stockholm has been advised to stay inside.
– Sweden's prime minister, Stefan Löfvén, is currently in Skåne, in southern Sweden, but is now on his way back to Stockholm. The prime minister has called the event "a terror attack."
11:20 AM EST update:
12:30 PM EST update:
– A press conference was held by Swedish Security Police chief Anders Thornberg, Stockholm police chief Ulf Johansson, the chief of Sweden's National Operations Department Mats Löfving, and police chief Dan Eliasson.
– The current investigation is led by the Stockholm police force, who is assisted by Sweden's National Task Force, a bomb squad and helicopter support.
– Police have shared a photo of a man who was seen at the location of the attack, and have urged people who may know more about him to contact them. – So far, police have not caught the driver of the truck yet, and didn't comment on whether they're looking for one or more suspects.
– Police cannot confirm the number of deaths or those injured, "We're leaving that to medical services to announce," Johansson said. – Police urged the public to stay away from central Stockholm until further notice.
1:20 PM EST update:
– Police have confirmed that two people have been taken in for questioning. They are currently not suspected of any crimes.
2:35 PM update – A store nearby Åhléns City has published CCTV footage of the truck attack:
– According to Head Physician Johan Bratt at Stockholm's County Council, one person has died at the hospital. Fifteen people are injured, including two children. Nine out of 15 patients are critically injured.
– A man who claims to be responsible for the attack has allegedly been arrested in Märsta, north of Stockholm, Aftonbladet reports. He has minor injuries and fits the description that's been issued by the police. This is yet to be confirmed by the police.
– Outside of Stockholm, the border police have increased their presence at Sweden's Southern border control checkpoints, as Sydsvenskan reports. A police source has told the newspaper that it's likely that stricter checks will be carried out on people trying to enter but also on those trying to leave the country.
4:00 PM EST update:
– The police have now confirmed that four people have died as a result of today's attack.
– Stefan Hector from the National Operative Department (NOA), Johan Olsson from the National Security Service (Säpo), and Jan Evensson from Stockholm Police hosted a second press conference. "What we know so far is that four people are dead and that 15 people are injured—this might change as events are developing," Hector said.
– NOA and Säpo are investigating the case in the same way they would investigate a terror attack. "I'm not saying it is a terror attack, but we are following the same procedures," Hector said.
– All three officers stressed that collaboration is key. "We're working together with other national authorities—particularly Säpo and to some extent the Swedish Armed Forces—we're also working with international institutions," Hector said.
– Evensson confirmed that a man has been arrested due to similarities with the man in the photo the police released earlier today. They did not get into details on why this man has been arrested.
– "You should not be afraid and you should go about your life as usual. The most important message is not to be afraid," Hector concluded.
– Prime Minister Stefan Löfven held a press conference shortly after the police. "First off, my thoughts are with those who are in grief today," he said. "I want you to know that all of Sweden is behind you. Sweden is united."
The situation is ongoing and we will update the piece as we know more.