Finland holds a minute of silence for victims

Candles and flowers at a makeshift memorial for the victims at Turku's market square, where the attack happened on Aug 18, 2017.
Candles and flowers at a makeshift memorial for the victims at Turku's market square, where the attack happened on Aug 18, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

HELSINKI • Finland observed a minute of silence yesterday for the victims of a stabbing attack in the city of Turku that left two people dead and eight injured.

Last Friday's stabbing is being investigated as the country's first terror attack.

At Turku's market square, where the attack happened, several hundred people gathered to hold a minute of silence in the morning. Candles and flowers lay on the square, with city officials, rescue crews in uniform, police officers and the public forming a ring around the makeshift memorial.

Archbishop Kari Makinen, head of Finland's Evangelical Lutheran Church, was also present.

Bells from the Turku Cathedral, the country's largest church, rang for 15 minutes before falling quiet for the minute of silence.

One of those injured in the attack, Mr Hassan Zubier - a British paramedic visiting Turku who went to the aid of a woman who later died - attended the ceremony in a wheelchair, arriving directly from the hospital.

"I wanted to show my respect to the victims," he told Swedish daily Aftonbladet before returning to hospital for further treatment.

Similar ceremonies were held across the country.

Finnish police said on Saturday that an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker deliberately targeted women in the attack. His motive was not yet known.

Police shot and wounded the knife-wielding suspect, detaining him minutes after the afternoon rampage in the south-western city.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2017, with the headline 'Finland holds a minute of silence for victims'. Print Edition | Subscribe