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Bildt: Stockholm Casualties Narrowly Avoided

Carl Bildt

Carl Bildt

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt says he believes Stockholm narrowly avoided mass casualties when the Swedish capital was attacked by a suicide bomber.

Bildt, in an interview with the BBC, said he did not know the bomber's intended target -- but said it appeared the attacker was headed toward areas crowded with Christmas shoppers when one of his explosives went off, killing only himself.

Officials have said parts of the bomber's explosives may have detonated early by mistake in the December 11 incident.

Swedish prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand said investigators are certain the bomber was Taymour Abdelwahab, an Iraqi-born Swede who is believed to have spent much of the last decade in Britain.

Lindstrand said Swedish officials planned to investigate why Abdulwahab was not known to Swedish security officials as a potential Islamic extremist before the December 11 incident.

In another development, officials say bomb experts from the U.S. FBI have been sent to Sweden to help in the investigation.

compiled from agency reports