Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: Thommy Tengborg / TT.
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Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: Thommy Tengborg / TT.
The blown out facade of the terminal is seen as an ambulance leaves Zaventem airport, one of the sites of two deadly attacks in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Peter Dejong / AP.
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The blown out facade of the terminal is seen as an ambulance leaves Zaventem airport, one of the sites of two deadly attacks in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Peter Dejong / AP.
Smoke is seen at Brussels airport in Brussels, Belgium, after explosions were heard Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Photo: Daniela Schwarzer / AP / TT
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Smoke is seen at Brussels airport in Brussels, Belgium, after explosions were heard Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Photo: Daniela Schwarzer / AP / TT

Löfven: another black day for Europe

"Can't guarantee that it will not happen"
1:15 min

As details emerge about two explosions at Brussels' main airport and at a subway station in the city, which left at least 34 dead, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said the terror threat level in Sweden had not changed. But police had an increased presence at Swedish airports.

"Today is yet another black day for Europe," said Löfven at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. The prime minister said it was important to maintain unity in the face of attacks and that he was proud that there was broad Swedish parliamentary agreement.

Löfven said the Swedish terror threat level, which is set by the Swedish Security Service, Säpo, was still unchanged at three on the five-grade scale.

He said the government would ask police to recommend how Sweden's National Task Force, a special operations unit within the police, can be used to respond to catastrophes, for example, to be deployed to several places during longer periods of time.

"I want to tell the Swedish people that we will do everything necessary to ensure that this will not happen here. But I can't guarantee that it will not happen. But that's the job of politics and democracy to be able to defend themselves, not least, against terrorism," said Löfven at the press conference.

The Swedish Police announced Tuesday morning that they would increase their presence at airports for the sake of making people feel safer and for general security reasons. The police's national operational unit, the NOA, declared a so-called "särskild händelse," an incident declaration that initiates police procedures around the country. The police had opened a hotline by which people could call if they were concerned that family members had been affected by the blasts. 

In a written statement issued earlier in the day, Löfven called the events in Brussels this morning "an attack against democratic Europe."

He wrote, "We will never accept terrorist attacks against our open society," adding that the Swedish government is following the situation closely.

Anna Kinberg Batra, leader of Sweden's second largest political party, the opposition Moderates, characterized the explosions on Twitter as "appalling attacks . . . against people and families but also against our society and our openness. Terrorism must be fought."

Airport operator Swedavia told Radio Sweden Tuesday morning that they had increased the number of security guards at Sweden's airports with flights to Brussels including at Arlanda, Bromma, and Landvetter.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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