Finland stabbings: Attacker ‘targeted’ women, police say

Two women killed and eight injured in the country’s first suspected Islamist militant attack

Several people have been stabbed in the Puutori market square in the Finnish city of Turku. Video: Reuters

 

Finnish police said on Sunday they had conducted searches of further premises in the city of Turku in their investigation into the country’s first suspected Islamist militant attack, but had made no new arrests.

An 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker was arrested for allegedly killing two women in a knife rampage and wounding eight other people - six of them women - on Friday.

Police said the suspect, who was shot by officers and arrested, appeared to have targeted women.

Two Finnish women were killed and eight people, including Hassan Zubier, were injured.

Mr Zubier, who is reportedly a Kent-born paramedic now living in Sweden, told Swedish newspaper the Expressen he was stabbed as he tried to help others, including a woman who died in his arms.

But he told the BBC: “I am not a hero. I did what I was trained for. I did my best and more.”

In a statement, police said they still had not been able to interview the main suspect of the attack due to his reluctance to talk.

Four other Moroccan men detained for possible links to the attack have cooperated but their role has yet to be fully established, the statement said.

Finnish police said they are investigating Friday’s knife attacks as crimes related to terrorism.

“Due to information received during the night, the Turku stabbings are now being investigated as murders with terrorist intent,” the National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Following the attacks on Friday, police shot the suspected attacker in the leg and arrested him.

Security was reinforced nationwide with increased patrols and more surveillance in case more people were involved.

Flags were at half mast on Saturday across the Nordic country where violent crime is relatively rare.

Still, the Security Intelligence Service raised the terrorism threat level in June to ‘elevated’ from ‘low’, saying it had become aware of terrorism-related plans in Finland.

Reuters/PA