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Stockholm attack: Rakhmat Akilov has confessed, says lawyer

People observe a minute of silence on Sergels Torg to remember the victims of the truck attack in Drottninggatan, Stockholm. Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Stockholm, Sweden Apr 11, 2017, 02.28 PM (IST)

Rakhmat Akilov, an Uzbek, who allegedly rammed a truck into a department store in central Sweden which killed four people has confessed his crime, his lawyer said.

Rakhmat Akilov hijacked a beer truck and drove it into the Ahlens department store on Friday afternoon in Stockholm's busy shopping street. The attack resulted in two Swedes, a British man and a Belgian woman being killed and left fifteen injured. Eight people still remain in hospital.

Akilov appeared in court today and was asked by the judge early on to remove the sweater from his head but he made no comment at the start of the hearing. His lawyer, Johan Eriksson, told the court that his client had admitted the crime. The judge then ordered the hearing to proceed behind closed doors.

His lawyer later revealed that Akilov has described his motives to authorities, but the judge had ordered the lawyer not to discuss details of the case in public.

"He has not just confessed. He has provided information, he is answering questions,"

Police have said it could take up to a year to complete the initial investigation into the attack.

Authorities say Akilov has expressed sympathies with extremist organisations. Security services have said that he had figured in intelligence reports but they had not viewed him as a militant threat.

A Facebook page appearing to belong to him showed he was following a group called "Friends of Libya and Syria", dedicated to exposing "terrorism of the imperialistic financial capitals" of the United States, Britain and Arab "dictatorships".

(WION with Reuters input)

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