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World

Prime Minister Suspects Terrorism In Deadly Stockholm Truck Attack

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

An update now on what happened today in Stockholm where a hijacked truck crashed into a department store. Local police say at least four people were killed, and 15 were injured.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The attack touched off a nationwide manhunt in Sweden for the driver of the stolen truck.

SIEGEL: Two people have been arrested in connection with the crash. The prime minister has called this a terrorist attack. Earlier I spoke with Emma Lofgren, the editor of the news site The Local Sweden, and she says the area where the attack happened is a busy shopping street in central Stockholm.

EMMA LOFGREN: There's usually a lot of people there. There are office buildings nearby as well, so there are also people in the area who work there. And it's quite close to the Central Subway Station as well. So there's often a lot of movement in the area.

SIEGEL: Lofgren spoke with some of the witnesses after the crash.

LOFGREN: They described what you can probably guess - that there were some scenes of chaos and panic and confusion.

MCEVERS: Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Sweden has been attacked, and he believes this was terrorism. But police haven't confirmed that yet. Here's Emma Lofgren again.

LOFGREN: It's not confirmed until it's confirmed. But how often does a truck drive into a department store like that? Police have said that they are operating under the assumption that it might be a terror attack, and it also follows similar patterns as we have seen in other parts of Europe.

SIEGEL: In an attack last month that was claimed by the Islamic State, a man drove into a crowd on London's Westminster Bridge, killing three people and injuring many others. A fourth person died this week. There was also a truck attack in Nice in France that killed 86 people last year as well as a truck attack that killed 12 people in Berlin in December.

MCEVERS: The site of today's attack in Stockholm is near where a December 2010 suicide bombing happened. Lofgren says since then, Sweden has raised its terror level threat. But she says Stockholm is quickly trying to absorb the news from today's attack and move on.

LOFGREN: Sweden is a very calm country, and people don't generally expect things like this to happen. Right now, things are slowly starting to get back to normal, if you want to call it that.

SIEGEL: That's Emma Lofgren of the news site The Local Sweden. She spoke to us via Skype earlier today from Stockholm.

(SOUNDBITE OF MINIATURE TIGERS SONG, "GOLDSKULL") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.