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Swedish PM 'horrified' by Barcelona attack

Published fredag 18 augusti 2017 kl 09.53
Spanish policemen help someone injured in the attack.
Spanish policemen help someone injured in the attack. Credit: NICOLAS CARVALHO OCHOA

Sweden's prime minister Stefan Löfven has expressed his horror at Thursday's terror attack in Barcelona – Europe's eleventh vehicle ramming attack in just three years.

"Horrified by reports from Barcelona. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims and the families of those killed," Löfven said in a statement on Twitter.

At least 13 people were killed and around a hundred injured when a delivery van was driven down the city's busiest pedestrian street, Las Ramblas at around 17:00 on Thursday.

A further six people were injured in a clash between police and five suspected terrorists that evening in Cambrils, south of the city.

An explosion in a house in Alcanar, 200km south of Barcelona, on Thursday night, has also been linked to the attack.

Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, responded with a call for tougher measures against terrorists.

"We must intensify our fight against terrorism," he said on Twitter. "We must bring an end to this evil."

Anna Kinberg Batra, leader of the opposition Moderate Party, also gave her condolences.

"Our thoughts and sympathy are with Barcelona after the horrible attack there. Many dead," she said on Twitter.

Las Ramblas, which runs down one side of the city's Gothic Quarter, is one of the city's main tourist attractions, and the dead and injured came from at least 19 different countries.

Sweden's foreign ministry has not received any information that Swedish citizens have been injured or killed.

Hampus Hagander, a 19-year-old Swede who works in Barcelona, was only metres away when the van barrelled down the crowded street. 

"It was total chaos. People started leaping away and running," he told Swedish Television. "People were sitting and eating just ten metres away from where it happened and they overturned tables and chairs." 

The terror group "Islamic State" says it carried out the attack, but this has not been independently verified.

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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