STOCKHOLM - No one died except for the suspected bomber, but two explosions in Sweden's capital tore at the fabric of this tolerant and open nation - a society that hadn't seen a terrorist attack in more than three decades.
Two people were wounded in central Stockholm on Saturday in what appeared to be the first suicide bombing in the history of Sweden, which has been spared the major terrorist strikes seen in several other European countries.
A car exploded in the middle of the seasonal shopping frenzy, shooting flames and causing several smaller blasts as people ran screaming from the scene. The blast that killed the alleged bomber came moments later a few blocks away from the car explosion on a busy pedestrian street.
Experts said the bomber probably didn't succeed in detonating all the explosives and could have caused much greater damage.
While police haven't confirmed Saturday's attack was motivated by Islamist views, an audio file sent to Swedish news agency TT shortly before the blast referred to jihad, Sweden's military presence in Afghanistan and a cartoon by a Swedish artist that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, enraging the Muslim world.
It hasn't been verified that the speaker is the person who set off the explosive, but police have said they are investigating that possibility.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt yesterday on Sunday said the attack was "unacceptable" buturged Swedes not to jump to "premature conclusions" that "create tension which paints pictures that are then difficult to change."