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Sweden Confirms Uzbek As Driver In Deadly Truck Attack, Device Found In Vehicle

People gather at the crime scene near Ahlens department store in central Stockholm on April 8.
People gather at the crime scene near Ahlens department store in central Stockholm on April 8.

Swedish authorities have confirmed that a 39-year-old man from the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan has been arrested in connection with a deadly truck attack that killed four people in central Stockholm a day earlier and that they are examining a device found in the vehicle.

Chief Prosecutor Hans Ihrman said on April 8 that the suspect was detained in a northern Stockholm suburb on April 7 after police earlier circulated a picture of a man wearing a gray hoodie in connection with the investigation into the attack on Drottninggatan using a hijacked beer truck in what Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven called an "act of terror."

"We have found something in the truck, in the driver's seat, a technical device that should not be there. I cannot say at this stage that this is a bomb or some sort of flammable material," Swedish police chief Dan Eliasson told a news conference.

"Whether it is a classic bomb or a fire device or something else is subject to technical analysis," he added.

The attack has shocked the Nordic nation, which has little violent crime and been largely immune from any major terror incidents.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which mirrors similar incidents, claimed by Islamic State, in Nice, Berlin, and London over the past year where vehicles were used as weapons.

Police said border security had been tightened and traffic on the Oresund Bridge, which links Denmark and Sweden, had been limited.

Citing police sources, Swedish broadcaster SVT reported that police had detained a second man but police declined to comment on whether they arrested any additional suspects in the attack.

"There can be other people who are associated with him, but we do not know that at the current time," Stockholm police spokesman Lars Bystrom said.

Anders Thornberg, head of the Swedish Security Service, said the man, whose name has not been released, "didn't appear in our recent files, but he earlier has been in our files."

Ihrman said the suspect should face a pretrial-custody hearing before midday on April 11 or be released.

The stolen truck traveled for more than 500 meters along a main pedestrian street before it smashed into a crowd outside the upscale Ahlens department store at around 3 p.m.

Stockholm's Karolinska hospital said on April 8 that six of the 15 people wounded in the attack had been released while eight adults and one child were still in hospital.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa, and BBC