At least eight people are reported injured after an unknown man went on a stabbing rampage in the municipality of Vetlanda before being shot by local police in what officers are calling a suspected terrorist attack.
The incident took place just after 3 pm on Wednesday afternoon and saw a man, reportedly in his 20s, attack several people on the Bangårdsgatan road in the centre of the town of Vetlanda.
Initial reports claimed that four people had been injured in the incident, which saw the man attack others with a knife, but local police confirmed that a total of eight people had been injured by the attacker, newspaper Aftonbladet reports.
Police shot the attacker during the incident but his exact condition remains unclear, with police press spokesman Thomas Agnevik confirming only that the attacker is alive and has been rushed to a local hospital to treat his injuries.
Agnevik spoke to broadcaster SVT saying, “His injury situation is unclear, but he is in hospital and was alive when he got there.” He also noted that at least one of the victims of the attack had been seriously injured.
A terrorist motive has not been ruled out by the Swedish security police Sapo, whose press officer Karl Melin told the newspaper, “We are cooperating with the police and if it turns out that this is a terrorist crime, we will be more involved. When it comes to suspected terrorist crime, it is normal the security police are the ones who investigate it.”
As the location of the attack was near a local train station, authorities have also stopped the local train service.
The incident comes just days after chief prosecutor of Sweden’s National Security Case Unit Per Lindqvist warned that the country could become a safe haven for terrorists due to the country’s terror laws, which are much less strict than other European Union member states.
Sweden’s last major terror attack, which occurred in Stockholm’s Drottninggatan shopping district in April of 2017, saw failed asylum seeker Rakhmat Akilov murder five people, including 11-year-old Ebba Akerlund, and injuring 14 more when he drove a hijacked truck through a pedestrian area.