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Man convicted of stabbing several people in Sweden knife attack

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By Euronews with AP
Floral tributes were left in the main street of Vetlanda after the stabbing attack.
Floral tributes were left in the main street of Vetlanda after the stabbing attack.   -   Copyright  JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP
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A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing several people in Sweden earlier this year.

Tamin Sultani, an Afghan asylum-seeker, stabbed and injured pedestrians in the southern town of Vetlanda in March. He was shot by police and arrested after an eighteen-minute rampage.

Investigators had dismissed terrorism as a motive and only charged him with seven cases of attempted murder.

Sultani was convicted of the charges by Eksjö District Court on Wednesday and sentenced to life imprisonment. The court added that the man would be deported to Afghanistan after serving his jail time.

The life sentence, which doesn't have a fixed time, is the most severe punishment in Sweden.

Sultani had attacked seven men in the small town of Vetlanda on March 3, armed with a 22-centimetre blade.

Three of the victims survived life-threatening injuries and two were seriously injured, while two others were moderately injured.

The attack took place at several locations in the town near Gothenburg, including a grocery store and travel agents. Sultani was shot in the leg by police at the scene and was arrested outside a school.

In its verdict, the court said that the 22-year-old had used a kitchen knife from his apartment "because he was so upset" about something blasphemous.

There was no indication that Sultani had planned to injure to kill the seven victims, the court said.

But the district court said there was a "concrete danger" that those attacked would die, as Sultani had stabbed near their "vital organs".

It has been revealed that the Afghan national had sought asylum in Sweden in 2016.

During his trial, Sultani said he had failed to find a job and only managed to work in various internships. When his temporary residence permit expired, he was no longer allowed to study or work in the country.

In November 2020, he had applied for a renewal of his temporary permit and the immigration authorities haven't yet taken a decision.

Sultani also claimed he twice attempted to commit suicide a week before the knife attack and could not remember stabbing some of his victims.

But a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation concluded that he was not mentally disturbed at the time of the attack and was fit for a prison sentence.