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Two Killed, Six Injured During Stabbing Spree in Finland's Turku City

Finnish broadcaster YLE says several people were seen lying on the ground in Puutori square in central Turku.

Agencies

Updated:August 18, 2017, 10:39 PM IST
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Two Killed, Six Injured During Stabbing Spree in Finland's Turku City
Emergency services working in Turku Market Square in Turku, Finland, on Friday after the knife attack. (Facebook via AP)
Copenhagen:  Two people were killed and six others were injured in a stabbing spree in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday, police said, after officers shot one suspect and warned several others could be at large.

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

Police said that a suspect is in custody and being treated in a hospital after officers shot him in the thigh. Security forces wrote on Twitter that police were "looking for other possible perpetrators".

Finland's interior minister said security is being stepped up across the Nordic country after stabbings that killed at least two people in a western city.

Paula Risikko made the announcement during a news conference in Turku, where the stabbings happened.

Finnish broadcaster YLE said several people were seen lying on the ground in Puutori square in central Turku. On Twitter, police urged people to avoid that part of Turku.

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat said six people were injured, one man and five women, and that a woman with stroller was attacked by a man with a large knife.

Prime Minister Juha Sipila said the government was closely monitoring the ongoing police operation and holding an emergency meeting later Friday.

Witness Laura Laine told broadcaster YLE that she stood approximately 20 meters (65 feet) from where the stabbing took place.

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Turku Market Square on Friday, August 18, 2017, with a yellow ambulance on the corner of the square (behind red car). (Lehtikuva via AP)

 

"We heard that a young woman was screaming. We saw a man on the square and a knife glittered. He was waving it in the air. I understood that he had stabbed someone," Laine was quoted as saying.

Police planned a news conference at 7 p.m. (1600 GMT; 12 p.m. EDT) in Turku, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) west of Helsinki, with Finland's interior minister and the national police chief.

Finnish television channel MTV said security had been heightened at Helsinki's international airport but didn't give details.

"Police have told us not to go to the city center so we are in this coffee shop a few blocks away from the city center," said Vanessa Deggins, an American who is studying business in one of Turku's three universities. She didn't witness the actual attack, but heard sirens going past.

"This is a safe country by American standards. I have gone home alone at 2-3 a.m. ... I feel safe. This is a safe country."

- With inputs from AP and AFP

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