Several people were stabbed in
the street in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday, with police shooting
one suspect and warning several others could still be at large.
Police had yet to confirm how many people had been
wounded but witnesses said they had seen several bodies lying on the
ground in a busy area of the city in southwest Finland.
Police shot one suspect in the legs and arrested him,
while security forces wrote on Twitter that police were “looking for
other possible perpetrators”.
“They ask the population to leave and avoid central Turku,” the tweet added.
Public television station Yle reported that central
Turku was on lockdown, with the police operation focusing on a busy
square. Businesses were shut.
MTV3 television reported that police have increased security at Helsinki airport and at train stations.
The stabbing spree comes with Europe on high alert a
day after drivers slammed vehicles into pedestrians in two attacks in
Spain, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 100 others. The
Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Barcelona
The motive for the stabbing in Turku was not yet
known. Finland’s interior minister was due to give a press conference at
“The government is following the situation in Turku
closely and a police operation is under way,” tweeted Prime Minister
Juha Sippila ahead of a cabinet meeting.
In 2012, Finland’s then-prime minister Jyrki Katainen escaped a knife attack in Turku while campaigning for municipal elections.
The man who approached him carrying a knife was found to be psychologically disturbed and no charges were brought against him.
A former capital of Finland, Turku remains a hub for business and culture.