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Stockholm Trial Of Confessed Uzbek Truck Attacker Enters Final Stage

Rakhmat Akilov after he was apprehended north of Stockholm on April 7, 2017
Rakhmat Akilov after he was apprehended north of Stockholm on April 7, 2017

The trial of a rejected Uzbek asylum seeker who has admitted to a truck attack that killed five people in Stockholm last year entered its final phase on May 2.

Rakhmat Akilov has acknowledged that he drove a hijacked truck down a busy pedestrian street in central Stockholm on April 7, 2017, killing three Swedes, including an 11-year-old girl, as well as a British man and a Belgian woman. Ten other people were injured.

The trial is taking place in a high-security chamber at the Stockholm district court.

Akilov, 40, who is the sole suspect in the attack, admitted at the start of the trial in February that he drove the truck, saying that his aim was to force Sweden to end its fight against the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

The prosecution last week called for a sentence of life in prison. More than 100 people, including survivors and relatives, have testified during the two-month trial.

Akilov, whose asylum application was turned down by Sweden in 2016, had sworn allegiance to IS on the eve of his assault, but neither IS nor any other group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sweden has some 70 military personnel based mainly in northern Iraq to provide training as part of the U.S.-led coalition against IS. The Scandinavian country is not a NATO member.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP

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