Sweden falls silent to honour truck attack victims

Swedish King Carl Gustaf led mourners in a minute's silence on Monday (April 10) for the victims of the truck attack in Stockholm city centre that killed four people. VIDEO: REUTERS
People observe a minute of silence at noon during a remembrance service on Sergels Torg, in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 10, 2017.
People observe a minute of silence at noon during a remembrance service on Sergels Torg, in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 10, 2017. PHOTO: EPA
People observe a minute of silence to commemorate the victims of a terror attack at a makeshift memorial near the site where a truck drove into Ahlens department store in Stockholm on April 10, 2017.
People observe a minute of silence to commemorate the victims of a terror attack at a makeshift memorial near the site where a truck drove into Ahlens department store in Stockholm on April 10, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) - Sweden's Prime Minister said on Monday (April 10) the country would never yield to terrorism, as he led a minute's silence for those killed and injured when a truck driver mowed down pedestrians on a Stockholm shopping street.

Four people died and 15 were hurt in Friday's attack, the first of its kind in the country.

"We will never surrender to terror," Lofven said in his speech outside Stockholm's city hall, as flags flew at half mast across the capital and church bells chimed while shoppers and tourists thronged the city centre.

Lofven was flanked by the royal family dressed in black, government ministers, and members of the emergency services.

Police are holding a 39 year-old Uzbek man who they believe was the driver of the hijacked beer truck that crashed into a department store, leaving death in its wake.

The suspect had been denied permanent residency in Sweden and had expressed sympathy for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

The attack shattered any sense Swedes had of being insulated from the militant violence that has hit other parts of Europe, raising questions about whether - in a society that takes pride in tolerance and liberal values - the police and security services could have done more to prevent it.

"I am not afraid to go to the city. But you never know, you never know (what can happen)," said Sankar Ramasuppu, a bank worker living in Stockholm.

Many Swedes were back at work for the first time since the attack, while the department store into which the truck slammed had already reopened.

Standing outside the building with tears in her eyes Parima Khazai, who runs a skin therapy company in the city, recalled a lucky escape.

"I was supposed to be here at the time (of the attack) because I had to return something. But a friend wanted to take a coffee so that meant that both of us didn't end up here on the street," she said.