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Stockholm Attack Suspect Admits Committing 'Terrorist Act'

Floral tributes on the steps at the Swedish captial's Sergels Torg square for victims of a truck attack in central Stockholm.
Floral tributes on the steps at the Swedish captial's Sergels Torg square for victims of a truck attack in central Stockholm.

Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan accused of killing four people in Stockholm last week by driving a hijacked truck into a crowd of people, has admitted committing an act of terrorism, according to his lawyer.

"Akilov confesses to a terrorist crime and accepts his custody detention," his lawyer Johan Eriksson told a court custody hearing in Stockholm aimed at determining whether he should remain in custody before facing trial.

Court documents identified Akilov as a citizen of Uzbekistan.

Deputy chief prosecutor Hans Ihrman confirmed that Akilov was accused of committing a terrorist act.

The court said in a statement that Akilov should be remanded in custody until May 11. The prosecutor may ask for an extension if there is need for more time which the court will consider, the statement added.

Akilov allegedly drove the truck into a crowd outside an upscale department store in central Stockholm on April 7, killing four people and wounding 15. Those killed included two Swedes, a British man and a Belgian woman.

Akilov, a construction worker who had been refused permanent residency in Sweden, was arrested detained in a suburb north of Stockholm, several hours after the attack.

Police said Akilov had gone underground after his application for Swedish residency. At the date of the attack, he was being sought by officials for deportation.

Swedish authorities say Akilov was known to have expressed sympathies with extremist organizations, including Islamic state (IS).

A second person arrested in connection with the attack was no longer suspected of involvement, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said on April 11.

The suspect was arrested on April 9. Police would only say the suspect was male. The Prosecution Authority statement said he was, however, to remain in detention because of a "previous deportation order."

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa
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