Several wounded in Finland stabbing; suspect shot in the leg

World Today

Finland attack scene (PHOTO: TWITTER)

A man stabbed several people in Finland’s western city of Turku before police shot him in a leg and detained him Friday, police said, adding that authorities were looking for more potential suspects.

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

Police say that a suspect is in custody and being treated in a hospital after officers shot him in the thigh.

Finnish broadcaster YLE says 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.

One person has been “apprehended,” Finnish police said, adding “several people had been stabbed” in two squares in the city. Their conditions weren’t immediately available.

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat says 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.

“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.”

Finland Map

Story includes reporting by the Associated Press.