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Sweden stands together for a minute’s silence

Sweden stands together for a minute’s silence

  • Thousands of Swedes gathered in Stockholm and cities around the country for a minute silence on Monday
  • King Carl XVI Gustaf led out members of Sweden’s royal family and politicians for vigil at Stockholm city hall 
  • Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told victim’s families: ‘You are not alone. All of Sweden stands with you’
  • Four people died and 15 more were injured after a failed Uzbek aslyum seeker drove a truck into shoppers 

Via: dailymail.co.uk

Sweden honoured the victims of the Stockholm terror attack with a minute of silence on Monday.

Thousands gathered in Sergels Torg square and outside the department store where four people were killed and 15 injured when a failed Uzbek asylum seeker drove a stolen truck into shoppers.

Meanwhile King Carl XVI Gustaf led members of the Swedish royal family and politicians out on to the steps of Stockholm City Hall to join the vigil.

Smaller ceremonies were planned in towns  and cities across the country.

Under grey and rainy skies, the crowd observed a minute of silence at noon, many visibly moved with tears streaming down their cheeks as a sea of flowers and candles covered the ground.

Many thanked and hugged police officers guarding the scene, some even offering them flowers, for their widely-praised response to the attack.

At the same time, an official ceremony was held outside Stockholm’s City Hall, attended by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, King Carl XVI Gustaf and most of the royal family, and Stockholm mayor Karin Wanngard.

‘We will never give in to violence. We will never let terror prevail,’ Wanngard said. ‘Stockholm will remain an open and tolerant city.’

To the victims’ families, Lofven said: ‘You are not alone, we are thinking of you. All of Sweden stands with you.’

The silence came hours after Prime Minister Stefan Löfven vowed that ‘terrorists can never defeat Sweden, never.’

He also said that the country will ‘never go back’ to the days of mass migration that saw up to 3,000 people enter the country illegally, according to police.

Friday’s attack was carried out by , a known extremist-sympathiser who was denied asylum and given four weeks to leave back in December.

Rakhmat Akilov

Police say Akilov, 39, a construction worker and father-of-four, has confessed to stealing a beer truck and then deliberately driving it into a crowd.

The vehicle only stopped after it smashed into the busy Ahlens department store.

A homemade bomb containing gas canisters and nails was found inside the truck after apparently failing to detonate, police added.

Sweden, a country of 10 million people, took in 244,000 asylum seekers in 2014 and 2015, the highest per capita number in Europe.

The four dead include two Swedes, one of them an 11-year-old girl.

Ebba Åkerlund

Briton Chris Bevington, a music executive and father-of-two, and Belgian Maïlys Dereymaeker, a journalist with a one-year-old son, were also among the dead.

 

Chris Bevington  
Maïlys Dereymaeker 

Tough new measures including workplace inspections are being demanded to clear Sweden of an estimated 12,000 migrants who are awaiting deportation.

‘This is a wake up call for Sweden, ‘ said Paula Bieler, immigration spokesman for the Swedish Democrat Party.

‘We now have to look into the possibility of giving the police more powers. It is outstanding in a bad way that we have 12,000 people in this country who have been told to leave and we don’t know where they are.

‘The police should be given more powers. One way would to make the migrants report to a police station on a regular basis. They could also have greater powers to carry out workplace inspections and deportations.’

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