At least two killed in Turku stabbing attack

Police say they have shot a man suspected of stabbing several people in the western city of Turku.

    Rescue personnel covered a stabbing victim's body at Turku Market Square [Roni Lehti/AFP/Getty Images]
    Rescue personnel covered a stabbing victim's body at Turku Market Square [Roni Lehti/AFP/Getty Images]

    At least two people have been killed and several wounded in Finland in a stabbing attack in the western city of Turku.

    Turku police confirmed the death toll and said six others were injured in the attack on Friday.

    Finland's interior ministry said security was stepped up across the country in the wake of the violence.

    Police shot a man suspected of the stabbing in the leg, and said on Twitter that they were "looking for other possible perpetrators".

    Markus Laine from the National Bureau of Investigation told reporters: "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]."

    He added that the incident was not being investigated as a "terrorism attack", but that the "possibility has not been ruled out".

    Several people were seen lying on the ground in the central part of the city after the stabbing, according to local media. 

    People were being urged to avoid the area of the attack.

    Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat said a woman with a stroller was among those attacked by a man with a large knife.

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

    Panicked scenes

    Eyewitnesses described the panic at the scene.

    "A man walked towards the ice cream 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.

    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.

    "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 violence came as Europe reels from a deadly attack a day earlier in Barcelona, in which at least 14 people were killed when a van rammed into crowds.

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "It is with great concern that I have learned of the violent attacks in Turku, Finland. While details are still emerging, we strongly condemn this unprovoked attack which comes only 24 hours after the horror that unfolded in Spain." 

    SOURCE: News agencies


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