5 Dead After Car Strikes Crowd at Dutch Royal Parade

Five people were killed and several others hurt in the Netherlands after a car rammed into a crowd of spectators in what police are calling a premeditated attack on the royal family.

The car appeared to be deliberately driving at high speed toward an open bus carrying the popular Queen Beatrix and her family in the western Dutch city of Apeldoorn.

"I think that it has become clear that this happened with premeditation," Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said.

Prosecutors said the driver, badly injured and still in his crumpled car, acknowledged targeting the queen and her family.

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"The man said that his action was aimed at the royal family," said prosecutor Ludo Goossens.

The driver, whose name was not released, "is formally suspected of ... an attack on members of the royal house and manslaughter or murder," Goossens said, and he could face life in prison.

The motive for the attack was unclear. Dutch media, citing neighbors, said the assailant recently was fired from his job and was to be evicted from his home. Police identified him as a 38-year-old Dutch man with no history of mental illness or police record, but they would not release his name.

Cynthia Boll said she saw about 20 people "flying through the air" after the black car swerved across police railings, where crowds of people were waiting to see the queen pass.

The car slammed into a monument. Video footage showed police removing a man from the vehicle and putting him into an ambulance.

The royal bus was not hit and no one in the queen's entourage was injured.

Earlier, Apeldoorn Mayor Fred de Graaf said eight of the 13 injured were in serious condition, with two men and two women killed. Later, a third man died of his injuries, said Apeldoorn municipality spokesman Toon Schuiling. Two teenagers and a 9-year-old girl were among the severely injured.

"What began as a great day has ended in a terrible tragedy that has shocked us all deeply," a shaken Queen Beatrix said in a brief statement broadcast on national television channels.

"We are speechless that something so terrible could have happened. My family, and I think everybody in the country, sympathize with the victims, their families and friends and all who have been hit so hard by this accident," she said.

People have been tweeting about the crash, saying the royals saw what happened and were shocked.

People were lining railings five or six deep to see the royal family pass on its way to a palace. The motorcade was part of celebrations for the annual national holiday of Queen's Day.

Journalist Peter von de Vorst said the incident was like watching a horror movie.

"It was a really nice day. Then you hear a bang. Everyone looks up and you see people flying through the air. This must be a joke or a strange prank. Then suddenly panic, and you realize that something really terrible has happened," he said.

Shortly after the incident, investigators and a sniffer dog examined the car for explosives, then sawed off the roof for a closer inspection.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.