Mum of Swedish girl named in NZ killer's manifesto condemns attacks

Stockholm (AFP) –


The mother of a Swedish girl killed in a 2017 jihadist attack expressed her horror at Friday's New Zealand mosque gun rampage, committed by a man who claimed to want to avenge the child's death.

The gunman, who killed 49 worshippers at two mosques in the quiet New Zealand city of Christchurch, published a racist manifesto on Twitter, saying he wanted "to take revenge for Ebba Akerlund". He also wrote her name on the weapon he used.

The Swedish 11-year-old was the youngest of five victims killed in an April 2017 Stockholm truck attack, when a rejected Uzbek asylum seeker ploughed through pedestrians on a busy shopping street with a stolen beer lorry.

Friday's attack in Christchurch, thought to be the deadliest against Muslims in the West in modern times, "goes against everything Ebba stood for", Jeanette Akerlund told Swedish public television SVT.

"She spread love and caring, not hate. I feel the pain of the families affected by this. I condemn any form of violence," she added.

"It's deeply tragic that Ebba's name is abused in the name of political propaganda," she told daily Aftonbladet.

Ebba's death shook Sweden.

That Friday afternoon, she was on her way to meet her mother after school and had texted her to ask if they could buy ice cream together on the way home.

She had just stepped off a city bus when she was mown down by the truck.

The attacker, Rakhmat Akilov, was sentenced to life in prison for terrorism in June 2018.