Stockholm Mayor Anna König Jerlemyr of the Moderate Party, former mayor Karin Wanngård and Interior Minister Mikael Damberg of the Social Democrats were among those paying tributes to victims on the second anniversary of the Stockholm terror attack on Sunday.
In a decision criticized by some, the Swedish capital this year chose to organize only an unofficial commemoration rather than a larger event, awaiting the building of a memorial on the site.
“A year ago it was natural to mark the anniversary in a clear way with offiical representatives. We will return with a similar ceremony when the memorial monument is in place. But today, I think it is important that everyone gets to mourn in the way they feel comes the most naturally,” König Jerlemyr was quoted by Swedish news agency TT as saying.
Wanngård, who was mayor at the time of the attack, said she still remembered the day well.
“But the strongest memory is when we found out the victims' names and one of the victims turned out to be a little girl. Then all work stopped for a moment,” she said.
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It is not yet known when the memorial will be in place. König Jerlemyr said it was important that it is done in a way families and relatives of the victims will find dignified.
Five people were killed in the April 7th attack: British man Chris Bevington, Belgian woman Maïlys Dereymaeker, 11-year-old girl Swedish girl Ebba Åkerlund, and Lena Wahlberg and Marie Kide.
Flowers left on one of the stone lions protecting the Drottninggatan street. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
The attacker, Uzbek man Rakhmat Akilov who had stolen a truck and driven it down the busy Drottninggatan shopping street in an effort to hit as many people as possible, was caught by police only hours after the attack and was later sentenced to life in jail.
The trial, which started in February was one of the biggest in Swedish history, involving 144 plaintiffs including victims, family members and others affected by the attack.
Akilov was accused of a total of 149 criminal acts for the April 7th attack and was judged to have committed all but one, where the court assessed that it was too difficult to say with certainty that the plaintiff was in the vicinity of the attack at the time it was carried out.