Finland fears more attacks after stabbing spree in city

Rescue personnel have cordoned off the area at the Turku Market Square in the Finnish city of Turku where several people were stabbed, on Aug 18, 2017.
Rescue personnel have cordoned off the area at the Turku Market Square in the Finnish city of Turku where several people were stabbed, on Aug 18, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

HELSINKI • Two people were killed and six were injured in a stabbing spree in the Finnish city of Turku yesterday, police said, after officers shot one suspect and warned that several others could be at large.

"There are eight victims in the stabbing. Two dead and six injured," Turku police tweeted.

Police said they arrested one person after shooting him in the leg. The authorities are scanning the area for further potential suspects, the south-western division of Finland's police said on its Twitter account.

In a tweet, the authorities asked people to leave the area and avoid central Turku.

Mr Wali Hashi, a journalist who witnessed the episode, said he saw a group of people chasing a man holding a knife who was screaming, "God is great", in Arabic, after a woman was stabbed. "I was shocked and terrified to see such a horrible incident," he said.

A resident of Turku told YLE television station that she had been 20m away from where the knife attacks took place, in Salutorget, a main square in the city of more than 180,000 people.

"We heard a young woman scream at the corner of the square," Ms Laura Laine said. "We saw a man at the square, a knife flashing and waving in the air. I understood that he had stabbed someone."

MTV3 television reported that police have raised security at Helsinki airport and at train stations.

"The government is following the situation in Turku closely and a police operation is under way," tweeted Prime Minister Juha Sipila, ahead of a Cabinet meeting.

The stabbing spree comes amid high alert in Europe after drivers slammed into pedestrians in twin attacks in Spain, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than 100 others.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2017, with the headline 'Finland fears more attacks after stabbing spree in city'. Print Edition | Subscribe