Eight people stabbed in suspected terrorist attack, say Swedish police

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Police in Sweden say they are treating a stabbing incident in Vetlanda as a “suspected terrorist crime”.

In a statement, the country”s prime minister, Stefan Lofven, confirmed a possible terrorist motive was being investigated.

“In the light of what has emerged so far in the police investigation, prosecutors have initiated a preliminary investigation into terrorist crimes,” he said.

Shortly after his statement, investigators at a police press conference said they had started a preliminary investigation into attempted murder with details “that make us investigate any terrorist motives”.


“But at the moment I cannot go into details,” regional police chief Malena Grann said.

Authorities first received reports shortly after 2 PM CET that several people had been attacked with an “axe” near Bangårdsgatan. The first police patrols arrived at the town’s centre 10 minutes later.

Eight people are confirmed to have been injured in the incident, which took place around 190 kilometres from Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city.

One suspect in his 20s was shot by police at the scene and has been arrested.

“The arrested person is injured but the situation is unclear,” police said in a statement, adding that the individual was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Initially, police began investigating the incident as attempted murder but confirmed they are now classifying the attack as a “suspected terrorist crime”.

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“The police have the situation under control in Vetlanda, the most urgent situation is now over and the police’s work is now increasingly focused on the investigation work,” the authorities have said.

“There is currently no indication of more perpetrators being suspected in this incident”.

Police have added that they are in contact with the eight victims, and there are no indications that anyone has died.

An investigation into police action during the arrest of the suspect has also been launched.

“Due to this investigation, the police will not comment further on the arrest and why the police have opened fire,” the statement added.

Lofven condemned “this terrible act,” and added that Sweden’s domestic security agency SAPO was also working on the case.

“They continuously assess whether there are reasons to take security-enhancing measures and are prepared to do so if necessary,” he added in a statement.

In 2017, five people were killed when a truck was hijacked and deliberately driven into pedestrians on a busy shopping street in the centre of the capital city, Stockholm.

The attack was described as “the biggest crime ever committed” in the country.

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