First ever suicide bombing in Stockholm during Christmas shopping rush follows car explosion.
THE LOCAL—Two nearly simultaneous explosions rocked central Stockholm on Saturday evening, killing one person and injuring two others. Police believe the man who died may have blown himself up. The fatal blast occurred just minutes after a car exploded on another nearby street sending two people to hospital.
Approximately ten minutes before the explosions occurred, Swedish news agency TT received an email, also addressed to Säpo, in which a reached out to “Sweden and the Swedish people”.
He cites Sweden’s silence surrounding the cartoons by Swedish Lars Vilks which portray the prophet Mohammed as a dog, the Swedish troops in Afghanistan, saying in audio files attached to the email that “now your children, daughters and sisters die like our brothers’ and sisters’ children die”.
“Our actions will speak for themselves. As long as you don’t stop your war against Islam and degrading the prophet and your stupid support of that pig Vilks,” the man said.
The man also urges all Muslims in Sweden to “stop sucking up to and degrading”. He concludes the message with yet another call to “all the mujahedeen in Europe and Sweden”.
“Now it’s time to act, don’t wait any longer. Fear no one, don’t fear prison, don’t fear death.”
The audio files attached to the email don’t specify if the man belonged to any organisation. However, he does say he has been to the Middle East and that he asked his family for forgiveness for lying to them. “I never went to the Middle East to work or earn money, I went there for jihad,” said the man.
The first blast in the car left two passers-by in need of hospital treatment for minor injuries, said emergency services spokesperson Bengt Norberg. A second alert was received two minutes later and one person was found dead at the scene of the second blast which took place in the street, he added.
“I cannot confirm that the death is linked to the explosion of the car but I cannot deny it either,” police spokeswoman Petra Sjolandero told AFP. She added that the car caught fire “following a series of explosions which could have been from gas canisters.”
Police later told the TT news agency that the car explosion was caused by cannisters containing liquefied petroleum gas.
According to the TT news agency, police are operating under the assumption that the man who died wasn’t injured in a car explosion but instead blew himself up. A man who arrived on the scene before the police arrived told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper that the dead man had a large wound in his abdomen.
“It looked like the man was carrying something that exploded on his stomach. He didn’t have any injuries to his face or his body and the stores nearby weren’t damaged. All the windows were whole,” the witness told DN.
According to the Stockholm police, a bag was found nearby the man who died in the second explosion.
Police refused to divulge details about the bag’s contents. However, several Swedish newspapers report that the bag may have contained nails.
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