Central Stockholm rocked by twin blasts

Two blasts rocked the centre of Stockholm, killing one person and wounding two.

Central Stockholm rocked by twin blasts

Two blasts rocked the centre of Stockholm on Saturday night, killing one person and wounding two.

The blasts on Saturday took place after Swedish news agency TT said it received a threatening letter about Sweden's military presence in Afghanistan and a years-old case of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad.

The incident began when a car burst into flames in the city centre, followed by explosions from within the car which the police said were caused by gas canisters.

Another explosion took place, in which the man died, about 300 metres (yards) away. Two people were wounded in that blast.

"Most worrying attempt at terrorist attack in crowded part of central Stockholm. Failed - but could have been truly catastrophic," Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said in a message on Twitter, which was also shown on his blog.

Asked if a man found dead at the site of the second blast blew himself up in some way, police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said: "It is possible."

Investigations were underway to see if the two incidents were linked, Lindgren said.

Several hours after the blast, the man's body was still lying on the pavement, covered with a white sheet.

Police vans had cordoned off several streets around the body and the car had been towed away. Elsewhere, the city centre was calm, with people having a normal Saturday night out.

Newspaper Aftonbladet quoted a source as saying that the man was carrying six pipebombs, of which only one exploded.

Lindgren said it was not clear what caused the car to explode. After the first explosion, the gas canisters caused smaller blasts, he said.

"Letter"

He also had a rucksack full of nails and suspected explosive material, the newspaper said. It also quoted eyewitnesses saying the man was shouting in what was apparently Arabic.

The police declined to comment on that report.

TT said the email it received was also sent to the Security Police, which confirmed it had received such a communication, but declined to reveal its contents.

TT said the email had sound files in Swedish and Arabic.

"Our actions will speak for themselves, as long as you do not end your war against Islam and humiliation of the Prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks," TT quoted a man as saying in one of the recordings.

TT said the letter refers to "Sweden's role in the U.S.-led invasion into Afghanistan, where it has 500 soldiers, mainly in the north."

It also referred to caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who depicted the Prophet with the body of a dog in a cartoon in 2007.


Agencies

Last Mod: 12 Aralık 2010, 10:17
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