Suspect's status as failed asylum-seeker saddens Stockholm

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On Sunday, Swedish police announced that the man suspected of carrying out the deadly truck attack Friday that killed four people, was wanted for deportation for being a rejected asylum seeker.

The Swedish police arrested a 39-year-old Uzbek man on Friday evening as the suspected driver of the truck, and the officials are now questioning seven more people. Although the suspect's request for asylum had been rejected in June 2016, police didn't formally start looking for him until February 24.

Police said they were unable to confirm local television reports of explosives being found inside the truck.

Witnesses say the truck drove straight into the entrance of the Ahlens Department Store on Drottninggatan, the city's biggest pedestrian street, sending shoppers screaming and running.

On Saturday, people placed flowers outside the department store in Stockholm where the attack occurred as a memorial to the victims.


Ten of the injured people remained in hospital, two of them in intensive care, Stockholm authorities said.

Only yards from the scene, thousands of people gathered in the Sergels Torg square in a show of unity as heavily armed police stood guard and a police helicopter hovered overhead. "On the contrary, the suspicions have strengthened", Swedish police chief Dan Eliasson said Saturday.

National Coordinator Against Violent Extremism Anna Carlstedt, who used to lead the Red Cross in Sweden, said Friday's attack and the background of the suspect posed "difficult questions". And on France's Bastille Day last July, at least 85 people were killed when another large truck mowed down a crowd celebrating the day.

The Belgian news agency Belga, quoting Reyders, says the woman had been reported missing and was first identified via her identity papers and later by DNA testing.

"Canada grieves with our Swedish friends in this hard time and we offer all possible assistance", the prime minister said in his statement on Friday.


Of the other three people who died two were Swedish, and one was a 31-year-old woman who had been living in Halle, Belgium. Swedish police have arrested a 39-year-old native of Uzbekistan as the main suspect in the attack.

As of Sunday, 10 of the 15 people wounded remained hospitalized, including one child.

"Today, all of Sweden is in mourning, but we're going to get through this together", he told reporters after laying a bouquet outside the Ahlens department store.

He said he stayed in the bus a bit longer, before taking shelter in a clothing store on Kungsgatan.

Lofven, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman and other government members have praised the police and the emergency services for their swift response to the attack.


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