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Finnish stab attack being treated as possible act of terrorism


Police attend an injured man

Police attend an injured man

AFP/Getty Images

Police attend an injured man

A stabbing attack in the western Finland city of Turku that killed two people and wounded eight is being investigated as murder with possible terrorist intent.

The National Bureau of Investigation, which is heading the investigation, said those killed in the attack are Finnish citizens.

It said the wounded include one Italian and two Swedes.

Police said they have identified the suspect, an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen, but did not release his name.

According to the BBC the suspect and two other people are still being treated in hospital.

Police shot a suspect and are hunting other possible attackers after several people were stabbed in the city of Turku in the south west of the country yesterday afternoon.

Security is being stepped up across the country in the wake of the incident, Finland's interior minister Paula Risikko said during a news conference.

Police said the man in custody is likely to have acted alone, but they are not ruling out the involvement of other people.

They said the man stabbed eight people, killing two of them, before police shot him in the thigh and detained him.

The country's president, Sauli Niinisto, visited Turku later yesterday and condemned what he called a "shocking and cowardly act".

He said officials are doing what they can "so that all Finns are able to feel safe".

Witnesses reported seeing a man wielding a large knife and hearing gunshots and screams at the city centre's Puutori market square. Some said they saw a lifeless body lying on the ground.

One of those stabbed was reported to be a woman pushing a pram.

Laura Laine told Finnish broadcaster YLE: "We heard that a young woman was screaming. We saw a man on the square and a knife glittered. He was waving it in the air. I understood that he had stabbed someone."

Police warned people to be on alert at train stations and airports, while Turku's local government opened a crisis line for people in need of emergency help.

Officers were inspecting departing trains and buses, and carrying out patrols and additional surveillance and armed police were seen at Turku's harbour, where a helicopter circled overheard, and security has been heightened at Helsinki airport.

Prime Minister Juha Sipila said the government was "closely following the events in Turku".

Belfast Telegraph