Police shoot man who stabs 8 in Finland; 2 dead


Associated Press

HELSINKI

A man stabbed eight people Friday in Finland’s western city of Turku, killing two of them, before police shot him in the thigh and detained him, police said. Authorities were looking for more potential suspects in the attack.

A suspect – who police said was “a youngish man with a foreign background” – was being treated in the city’s main hospital but was in police custody. Security was being stepped up across the Nordic country, Interior Minister Paula Risikko told reporters at a news conference.

The man’s identity and nationality were being investigated. Police said he is likely to have acted alone though it was not possible to completely rule out that other people were involved.

Police did not give any information on the two people killed or the conditions of those wounded in downtown Turku, 106 miles west of Helsinki, the capital.

Finland’s top police chief, Seppo Kolehmainen, said it was too early to link the attack to international terrorism.

“Nothing is known about the motives ... or what precisely has happened in Turku,” he said.

It was also not known if Friday’s attack was linked to a decision in June by Finland’s security agency to raise its threat assessment to the second level of a four-step scale. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service says the country’s “stronger profile within the radical Islamist propaganda” led to the change. It said the Nordic country is now considered part of the coalition against the Islamic State group.

Finland’s government was closely monitoring the police investigation into the attack, Prime Minister Juha Sipila said.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto arrived at Turku later Friday and condemned the attack as “a shocking and cowardly act.”

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