By CHRISTINA ANDERSON
The driver of a small truck appeared to steer his vehicle toward a crowd of people and then rammed it into a department store in the heart of Stockholm on Friday, killing at least two people, local news outlets reported.
The Swedish prime minister, Stefan Lofven, said that everything about the incident suggested that it was a terrorist attack, The Associated Press reported.
The country’s intelligence agency said “a large number” of people were injured, and the attack in the Swedish capital comes after several other episodes in Europe in the past year in which a vehicle was used as a weapon.
Martin Svenningsen, a reporter with Swedish Radio, said he saw at least three people dead. The police have blocked off the area and have warned people of the possibility of terrorism, Swedish Television News said.
“I saw hundred of people running, they ran for their lives,” before the truck crashed into the Ahlens department store, an eyewitness, identified only as Anna, told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
The idea of a car as a weapon was revived by the Islamic State group after it broke with al-Qaida in 2014, which found the tactic too indiscriminate and likely to kill Muslims.
Within the past year, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the death of over a hundred people in Europe. A militant drove into a crowd on a busy seaside promenade during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, in the south of France. Another truck surprised a shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin in December. And a car drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge near Britain’s Parliament last month.
Other attempts, like a man attempting to drive over pedestrians in Antwerp, Belgium, claimed no victims but have maintained a sense of threat across the continent.