Not less than four people were murdered in Sweden yesterday in yet another terror attack in which a vehicle was used to mow down pedestrians.
The head of the World Council of Churches, general secretary, Rev Olav Fykse Tveit, denounced the Stockholm attack and mourned the loss of life, extending prayers for the victims and their families and friends.
A lorry was driven into a store in central Stockholm, killing at least three people and injuring a number of others. Unconfirmed reports have also emerged of a secondary incident – a shooting – in a separate area of the city but the two incidents are not believed to be related.
The incident occurred on Drottninggatan, one of the city’s major pedestrian streets, just before 15:00 local time. Swedish police said they are treating it as terrorism.
Witnesses said they saw a truck drive into the front window of the Ahlens department store. They had seen people on the ground. Stockholm’s Parliament was evacuated and the area cordoned off.
‘Once again, people going about their daily lives, in celebration of holidays, have suffered a violent attack,’ said Tveit. ‘We must join together, not just to condemn these actions but to strengthen our pursuit of just peace, and to strengthen our resolve not to allow extremist violence to separate us from each other.’
Tveit called for prayers and solidarity with the people of Sweden. He said, ‘Sweden is a country that has taken so many peace initiatives in other parts of the world, but now is hit by these inhuman actions of terror in the middle of their capital of Stockholm.
‘We pray for the victims and their families, and we seek God’s mercy, love and grace that we may be empowered with strength to continue our pilgrimage of justice and peace.’
Almost immediately, #PrayforStockholm began trending on Twitter, with inevitable comparisons between this and what happened in London just two weeks ago.
— Danny smith (@doglab) April 7, 2017
— Emma 39 & 41 (@fyfmendes) April 7, 2017