Seven people in Sweden stabbed in Afghan migrant’s rampage

Swedish police were still in the dark on Thursday over the motive for a knife attack in the southern town of Vetlanda which left seven people wounded and forced police to shoot a suspect.

Reuters reported that a lone attacker, a 22-year-old man from Afghanistan, went on a 15-minute rampage in the town of about 13,000 inhabitants on Wednesday afternoon, stabbing seven people.

Five of the victims had to be treated in intensive care but local authorities said they all were in stable condition.

“All victims are from Vetlanda and they are all male,” said Vetlanda police chief Jonas Lindell. “There is, to our knowledge, no connection between the perpetrator and the victims.”

The attack is being investigated as attempted murder but police were not sure of the motive for the attack.

“We are investigating a possible terrorism motive and we are investigating it thoroughly,” said Malena Grann, head of police in Jonkoping region, without offering any details, Reuters reported.

Police said the suspect was a 22-year old man from Afghanistan. He was armed with a knife when police shot him in the leg and overpowered him. He was being treated at hospital for his injuries but was conscious and had been interrogated.

Police also said the suspect’s apartment had been searched but could not give any details on the findings. He is previously known for minor crimes and there are no indications that anyone else was involved, police said.

“We are a community in shock,” Vetlanda mayor Henrik Tvarno told a news conference. “It’s a nightmare. This is incredibly tough for the relatives of the victims and for all of us.”

Earlier on Thursday Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said fear would be allowed to dictate daily life in Sweden.

“A lot is still uncertain but one thing is certain, and that is that every attack against innocents will be met by all of Sweden’s united force,” he said. “Anyone who harms Sweden, anyone who injures people here, will be found and brought to justice.”

We are deeply saddened to learn that an assailant has attacked civilians with a weapon in central Vetlanda, Jönköping on Wednesday afternoon, injuring seven people.

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Thursday night condemning the attack.

“We strongly condemn this criminal act and offer our sympathies to the families of the victims,” the statement read, adding that they “wish to see the criminal, who was injured and arrested during encounter with police, brought to justice”.