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Swedish Police Label Stockholm Blasts as Terrorism

  • Stefan Bos

In this image from video, showing emergency services as they attend the scene after a car exploded in the center of Stockholm, 11 Dec 2010

In this image from video, showing emergency services as they attend the scene after a car exploded in the center of Stockholm, 11 Dec 2010

Authorities in Sweden say two explosions that rocked the heart of Stockholm's central shopping district were an "act of terrorism". The Swedish Security Service is involved in investigating Saturday's blasts that killed one man and injured two other people.

Witnesses have distributed amateur video footage of Saturday's attacks, showing a burning car parked near a busy shopping street in the capital, Stockholm.

Several blasts can be heard from the wreckage of the vehicle, which authorities say included gas canisters. Soon after, panic breaks out as a separate major explosion rocks the area, near the vehicle. Television also showed a man's body, discovered after the second explosion.

Swedish media have described the dead man as a suicide bomber who had been carrying pipe bombs and a backpack full of nails.

Police have so far declined to confirm these reports. But speaking at a news conference in Stockholm, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says authorities are treating the blasts as acts of terrorism.

Swedish Security Service Director General Anders Thornberg says authorities are investigating whether the bombs can be linked to an Internet message that a Swedish news organization received minutes before the blasts.

Thornberg explains the e-mail, which was apparently also addressed to Sweden's security police, appears to link the attacks to anger over anti-Islamic cartoons and the war in Afghanistan.

"I have not read the mail myself exactly, but what I know is the mail was about one man. He was not satisfied with the development in Sweden, regarding that we have military troops in other countries, that there have been protests and that have been said bad things about the prophet and so on. But we are still analyzing this, this mail so it is too early to say anything more," he said.

Swedish media say the e-mail also includes a recording citing Sweden's alleged silence over cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, criticizes Sweden's 500-soldier military contingent in northern Afghanistan, and threatens attacks on Swedes.

Prime Minister Reinfeldt has called the attack "unacceptable".

Analysts say the Scandinavian nation has long prided itself on having created a stable and peaceful society and on having avoided involvement in upheavals that ravaged much of the rest of Europe.

Sweden Investigates Deadly Blasts As "Terrorism"

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