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Swedish couple say 11-year-old daughter died in truck attack

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/04/2017 By DAVID KEYTON, Associated Press
Police with automatic weapons guardthe entrance to Stockholm District Court in Sweden, Tuesday April 11, 2017 for the appearance of Uzbek national Rakhmat Akilov, the accused in Friday's truck crash. Akilov, who is accused of crashing a truck into pedestrians in Stockholm pleaded guilty to terrorist crimes on Tuesday. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT via AP) © The Associated Press Police with automatic weapons guardthe entrance to Stockholm District Court in Sweden, Tuesday April 11, 2017 for the appearance of Uzbek national Rakhmat Akilov, the accused in Friday's truck crash. Akilov, who is accused of crashing a truck into pedestrians in Stockholm pleaded guilty to terrorist crimes on Tuesday. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT via AP)

STOCKHOLM — An 11-year-old girl was one of the four people killed when a truck rammed into a crowd in Stockholm, her parents said, while Russian media reported Wednesday that the main suspect in the attack had been wanted in Uzbekistan.

Sweden's TV4 said Tuesday evening that the parents released a statement saying they wanted to thank "the Swedish people for all the warmth and love you have given us at a time of despair and pain." They requested "peace and quiet" to grieve the death of their daughter, Ebba Akerlund.

Other victims of Friday's attack included a 31-year-old Belgian woman, a 69-year-old Swedish woman, and a 41-year-old Briton whom the British government identified as Chris Bevington, an executive at Swedish music-streaming service Spotify. Fifteen others were injured in the attack, with eight still hospitalized.

Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old Uzbek man, has pleaded guilty to a terrorist crime after ramming the truck into the crowd, according to his lawyer, Johan Eriksson.

On Tuesday, the Stockholm District Court ruled that police may detain the suspect for one month, but Eriksson said his client could remain jailed as long as it takes to resolve the case.

Akilov was caught Friday evening in a northern suburb of Stockholm, hours after he drove the stolen beer truck into the crowd of afternoon shoppers outside the upmarket Ahlens store. He was formally arrested early Saturday.

Police have not disclosed a motive for the attack and no extremist group has claimed responsibility. Police chief Dan Eliasson said that after questioning the man they have become increasingly "convinced that we have the right suspect."

Akilov was known to have been sympathetic to extremist organizations but police said that there was nothing to indicate he might plan an attack. His Swedish residency application was rejected last year.

Russian state news agency Tass reported Wednesday that a police source in Uzbekistan said Akilov had been wanted there for extremist connections.

The source, who was not identified, was quoted as saying that Akilov was wanted "in connection with the production and distribution of materials containing a threat to public security and public order, as well as participation in religious extremist organizations, and the involvement of a minor in anti-social behavior."

Friday's attack shocked Sweden, known for its welcoming policy toward migrants and refugees.

In 2015, a record 163,000 asylum-seekers arrived in the country — the highest per capita rate in Europe. The government responded by tightening border controls and curtailing some immigrant rights.

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