Swedish court sentences Stockholm truck attacker to life

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A Swedish court sentenced Rakhmat Akilov to life in prison on Thursday for killing five people and injuring another 10 when the Uzbek asylum seeker slammed a stolen truck into shoppers on a busy street in Stockholm last April.

“The defendant has among a series of crimes been found guilty of terrorist offense by murder in five cases. The penalty has been set to life imprisonment,” the Stockholm District Court said in a statement.

On April 7 last year, Akilov hijacked a beer truck outside a restaurant in central Stockholm and sped some 500 metres (yards) down a pedestrian street, ploughing into shoppers before crashing the truck into a department store.

He was arrested the same day outside a gas station in a Stockholm suburb after he was recognised from a CCTV image and quickly admitted to being the driver of the truck.

He stated during the trial that he wanted to punish Sweden for its part in the global fight against radical group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

Stockholm was one of several cities in Europe where vehicles have been used to target crowds of civilians.

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