Two dead, six injured after knife attack in Finland video

REUTERS

One suspect is in custody after a shootout with Finnish police following a stabbing spree that killed at least two people and left more injured in the city of Turku.

A man with a knife has killed two people and wounded at least six in a stabbing rampage in a market square in the Finnish city of Turku.

Police shot the suspected attacker in the leg and arrested him on Friday (Saturday NZ Time). They said they had yet to establish the identity of the man who appeared to be of foreign origin, or his motive.

They warned people to stay away from the city and reinforced security nationwide, with increased patrols and more surveillance, in case more people were involved. People were allowed to return to the city centre a few hours later.

Rescue personnel cordon the area where several people were stabbed, at Turku Market Square, in Finland.
LEHTIKUVA/REUTERS

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

"At this stage, there is only one suspect and we are investigating whether there are more people involved ... but it looks likely (he was alone)," said Markus Laine, from the National Bureau of Investigation.

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Finnish President Sauli Niinisto arrives to a prayer service at Turku Cathedral for the victims of the stabbings.
LEHTIKUVA/REUTERS

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto arrives to a prayer service at Turku Cathedral for the victims of the stabbings.

"At this stage, we do not investigate this (as a terrorism attack) but the possibility has not been ruled out," he told a news conference.

Finnish Interior Minister Paula Risikko said: "We have not been able to confirm the person's identity... we have been in contact with the immigration service as the person looks like a foreigner."

Eyewitnesses described the panic at the scene.

A cell phone picture from Turku Market Square, where several people were stabbed.
LEHTIKUVA/REUTERS

A cell phone picture from Turku Market Square, where several people were stabbed.

"A man walked towards the icecream stand where I work, and he hit a woman three times. He started running, went past my kiosk, and he had a knife in his hand," Terttu Lehtinen told Reuters.

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She said that some other men ran behind, apparently chasing him.

"We were sitting by the market square, just enjoying the afternoon. Suddenly people started screaming and yelling, they were hysterical," said another witness, who gave her name only as Reetta.

Finnish police patrol in front of the Central Railway Station in Helsinki, after stabbings in Turku.
LEHTIKUVA/REUTERS

Finnish police patrol in front of the Central Railway Station in Helsinki, after stabbings in Turku.

"We started running towards our car and, as we got there, my boyfriend said a woman had been stabbed several times in the neck," she told Reuters.

The six wounded were taken to hospital, police said.

Prime Minister Juha Sipila said: "My deepest condolences to the families and close-ones of the Turku victims. The events of the day are shocking us all." He added that the government would meet later.

Armed Finnish policemen stand guard at the Helsinki airport, after stabbings in Turku.
LEHTIKUVA/REUTERS

Armed Finnish policemen stand guard at the Helsinki airport, after stabbings in Turku.

Finland is usually peaceful but the Security Intelligence Service raised the terrorism threat level in June, saying it had become aware of terrorism-related plans in Finland.

 - AAP

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