Eight people have been injured, three seriously, in a stabbing attack in a southern Swedish town. Police are treating the attack as suspected terrorism.
The assailant, who is in his 20s, struck in five different locations in the centre of Vetlanda on Wednesday afternoon. Within minutes he was shot and wounded by police and is now in custody.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven posted on Facebook, “The horrific violence is a reminder of how frail our safe existence is. We face these despicable actions with the combined force of the community.”
Five different crime scenes, a few hundred metres apart have been identified, the local police chief said.
One eyewitness, a florist, told local newspaper Vetlanda-Posten: “We heard a scream from the street. Then we saw a man enter the store, shouting that he had been stabbed. Blood was pouring from his shoulder.”
Detectives initially said they had classified the attack as attempted murder but later announced they had opened a terrorist investigation and were working closely with Swedish security police.
According to the local police chief, the suspect is a resident of the area and previously known to police but in the past he was only suspected of “petty crimes”.
In December 2010, an Iraqi-born refugee carried out a suicide bomb attack in Stockholm city centre, slightly injuring passers-by
In April 2017, an Uzbek failed asylum seeker who sympathised with the Islamic State group used a stolen lorry to kill five people on a pedestrian street.