Sweden remembers truck attack victims

Sweden remembers truck attack victims
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at a memorial ceremony on Monday. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
How Sweden dealt with its grief three days after Friday's deadly truck attack shook Stockholm.

17:21: That concludes our live coverage. Take care, everyone. We will leave you with these pictures from today:

A police car covered in flowers. Photo: Miriam Bade/The Local

People leaving flowers. Photo: Miriam Bade/TT

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven thanking police officers. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

A minute of silence on Sergels Torg, near where the attack happened. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

: The Local's reporter Miriam Bade was out in Stockholm earlier today talking to people. British tourists Maura Moran, 45, and Claire Berryman, 37, said they still felt safe in the Swedish capital.

“We came here on Saturday, the attack didn't stop us from going. Actually, we didn't even think one second about cancelling because that would mean that we are running away and that's what they want. Stockholm still feels like an absolutely safe city, even if people are shocked. If you don't come here you're giving in.”

Maura Moran and Claire Berryman. Photo: Miriam Bade/The Local

German tourists Daniel Kuzmanovski and Max Hommens, 21 and 20, echoed their comments.

“We heard about this on Friday but we wanted to come here anyway. You shouldn't stay away even if something like this happens,” they said.

“Somebody told us that the Swedes now appear more open and friendly. It's hard to assess as we arrived only yesterday. But we feel completely safe. I would feel safe even if there weren't so many police in the streets.”

Daniel Kuzmanovski and Max Hommens from Berlin. Photo: Miriam Bade/The Local

Ivan Ulysses, 43, a strategical account manager, said he was in the Åhléns department store when the attack happened. “I feel very sad, yes, sad is the feeling that sums it up. Everybody is scared now.”

“People seem united. It's a biological reaction to things like this. Now everything goes back to normal, maybe more paranoid,” he said.

Ivan Ulysses. Photo: Miriam Bade/The Local

16:17: The prosecutor has asked the court to have the 39-year-old man suspected of driving the truck remanded in custody. A preliminary pre-trial hearing is expected to be held tomorrow.

15:00: Police have so far questioned more than 600 people as part of the preliminary investigation into the truck attack, a major investigation which could take up to a year to fully complete, the head of the police's national operative department (NOA) told a press conference earlier today.

But police are convinced they have arrested the man who drove the truck. “We have several various types of evidence. We have photographs and we have interrogated him,” police chief Dan Eliasson said, adding that it is then up to the prosecutor to prove it in court. Under Swedish law the prosecutor has until noon tomorrow to ask a court to have him remanded in custody.

Two people are currently in custody on suspicion of terror crime by murder, the suspected driver of the truck and a second man who is being held on a lower degree of suspicion. The former is a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan, who had been handed a deportation order after his residency permit application was rejected.

READ ALSO: What we know so far about the Stockholm attack

The police press conference on Monday. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

13:20: 'The strength in our society shows that terror will never prevail'

After Monday's ceremony at City Hall, The Local's reporter Lee Roden spoke to Sweden's deputy prime minister Isabella Lövin and education minister Gustav Fridolin, the two leaders of the Green Party, which is the Social Democrats' junior partner in Sweden's centre-left coalition government. They said the solidarity of Stockholmers in the past few days showed that kindness and strength are stronger than terror.

“It's so strong to see how Stockholm answered this brutal, horrific attack on our society with love. Love for each other, love for unknown people. Being able to give a place to sleep and a good dinner for people without the possibility to take their train home. That strength in our society shows that terror will never prevail,” Fridolin told The Local.

Lövin said that it was important to maintain Swedish openness. “I'm absolutely convinced that's also a way to protect ourselves from violence, and terror and hatred. That we maintain our open and democratic society that's inclusive, but of course never ever can accept terrorism, violence and extremism. I think what Sweden has shown in the last few days is that we are really standing together – on a political level that has been shown, but also on an individual level. Civil society, people, ordinary citizens have really shown solidarity and strength during these days.”

Police and emergency services have been praised for their quick response, and Lövin said she and Fridolin had been attending a memorial service at the Swedish parliament when the attack happened.

“We could see outside the window in a matter of minutes police, the special forces coming. It was really, really fast and impressive, the work that has been done,” she told The Local.

READ ALSO: How the truck attack brought the best out of Stockholm

Isabella Lövin and Gustav Fridolin at Stockholm City Hall on Monday. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

12:25: The memorial ceremony has now concluded. Read more about it here. Both Stockholm mayor Karin Wanngård and the Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven spoke.

“We will never give into violence. We will never let terror prevail,” said Wanngård. “Stockholm will remain an open and tolerant city.”

The Royal Family and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at the memorial ceremony on Monday. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

12:16: Löfven says Sweden's values and the Swedish model are stronger than terror and murder. “Our democracy will prevail over fundamentalism.”

12:15: “Losing a person you love is the worst thing that can happen in a human being's life,” says Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, speaking at a memorial ceremony at Stockholm City Hall. “I just want to know: you are not alone. We are thinking of you. The whole of Sweden is with you.”

12:01: Follow The Local's Facebook page for a live video from the memorial ceremony.

11:54: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has arrived at Stockholm City Hall for the ceremony to remember the victims of Friday's attack.

11:30: The Local's reporter Lee Roden is at Stockholm City Hall, where there will be an official ceremony with a minute of silence at noon to remember the victims of Friday's attack. We understand the ceremony, attended by Stockholm mayor Karin Wanngård and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, is meant to be held in the park outside the iconic building. It has just started raining, so hopefully the skies will clear soon.

11:18: Oskar Kern, 70, is from Austria but lives in Stockholm. “I am really sad about what happened. But the Swedes react like a big family. I feel safe now, even though I passed (the scene) just before he happened,” he tells The Local's reporter Miriam Bade, who is speaking to people in central Stockholm.

Oskar Kern, from Austria. Photo: Miriam Bade/The Local

Linus Söderlund, 37, who is originally from Gothenburg but lives in Stockholm, says: “I'm sad of course that terror has come to Stockholm. But I am also glad that we are back to sort of normal. The people are going on with a lot of compassion. Right now it's the opposite of what 'they' want us to feel: they want to shatter the society but the Swedes stay together and look out for each other.”

Linus Söderlund. Photo: Miriam Bade/The Local

11:10: The Local's reporter Miriam Bade is speaking to Stockholmers and others on Drottninggatan. She says there are a lot of people out, despite the rain, with many stopping in front of the floral tributes for a moment's silence.

Charlotta Rahm, 40, a teacher, said: “It's hard to say how I feel. I feel sad, sad for those who lost their life, sad for Sweden to never be the same again. I feel empty. I think now it's a sad beginning, but people are joining together so it's also a good beginning. I think the Swedes will talk about it and then talk less and less until things go back to normal. People are already getting back to their normal lives now.”

Charlotta Rahm. Photo: Miriam Bade/The Local

A 63-year-old woman who said she works on trains and wanted to be known only as Elisabeth, said she was at the scene of the attack 15 minutes before it happened. “You don't really understand this. But actually I am not surprised. We just waited for something like this to happen. There are a lot of people coming into this country, we don't know anything about them.”

Elisabeth. Photo: Miriam Bade/The Local

10:53: Åhléns, the department store which the truck crashed into on Friday, has reopened. It initially said it would open on Sunday, telling its customers in an e-mail that it would sell smoke-damaged products at reduced prices, but backtracked after strong criticism.

“We are deeply unhappy about both the decision and the e-mail. We were under pressure and acted too quickly in a situation that his terrible and unreal for us all. Our motivation to open was born out of the idea of standing up for openness and not let evil forces control our lives. It was never about making money on the extremely tragic events in Stockholm, that's nothing we stand for or anything our staff would accept that we focused on in his difficult situation. We would like to, once again, apologize to our customers,” Åhléns apologized in a Facebook post.

READ ALSO: Stockholm department store apologizes for sale after attack

Security guards at Åhléns on Friday. Photo: Noella Johansson/TT

10:12: The tributes keep coming. Here's a police car covered in flowers on Drottninggatan.

A police car covered in flowers. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

09:50: The area around Sergels Torg and Drottninggatan, where a man drove a truck into crowds, killing four people, on Friday last week is busy on Monday morning as Stockholmers return to work after a surreal weekend in the capital.

Many stop to look at the flowers left outside the Åhléns department store, which is set to open its doors again to customers at 10am. On a boarded-up window, broken when the truck crashed through the wall to the store, Stockholmers have been leaving messages of love in many different languages.

READ ALSO: What we know about the Stockholm truck attack so far

Post-it notes with messages such as “we are strong”, “rest in peace” and “love”. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT