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At Least 2 Dead, Others Injured in Finland Stabbing Attack

  • VOA News

Candles at Turku Market Square for the victims of Friday's stabbings are pictured in Turku, Finland Aug. 18, 2017.

Police in Finland said at least two people were killed and at least eight others were injured in a mass stabbing Friday in the southwestern coastal city of Turku.

Police announced Saturday that the attack is being investigated as murder with possible terrorist intent.

Police said they shot a suspect in the leg and arrested him and were searching for other “possible perpetrators.” Authorities Saturday said they have identified the suspect, an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen, but did not release his name.

Rescue personnel cordon the area where several people were stabbed, at Turku Market Square, Finland, Aug. 18, 2017.
Rescue personnel cordon the area where several people were stabbed, at Turku Market Square, Finland, Aug. 18, 2017.

“Due to information received during the night, the Turku stabbings are now being investigated as murders with terrorist intent,” the National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The National Bureau of Investigation, which is heading the investigation, says Saturday that those killed in the attack Friday are Finnish citizens, while the wounded include one Italian national and two Swedes.

Turku, Finland
Turku, Finland

A warning was issued to avoid Puutori Square in central Turku, although people were allowed to return to the area a few hours later.

Security was heightened at Helsinki airport and at train stations in response to the stabbings.

Finnish police patrol the streets in central Helsinki, Finland, Aug. 18, 2017, after stabbings in Turku.
Finnish police patrol the streets in central Helsinki, Finland, Aug. 18, 2017, after stabbings in Turku.

Threat level had been raised

The Security Intelligence Service raised the terrorism threat level in June after becoming aware of terror-related plots in the usually peaceful country.

Turku is located about 140 kilometers (90 miles) west of the capital of Helsinki.

The stabbings occurred as Europe remains on high alert while it grapples with a spate of terrorist attacks, including two this week alone. At least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured Thursday in Spain after drivers mowed down pedestrians in two separate attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack in Barcelona.

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