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Stabbing spree in Finnish city, suspects hunted

Finland stabbing
Several people were stabbed in the street in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday, with police shooting a suspect and warning several others could still be at large.

[HELSINKI] Several people were stabbed in the street in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday, with police shooting a 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 southwestern city.

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.

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Public television station Yle reported that central Turku was on lockdown, with businesses shut.

MTV3 television reported that police have raised security at Helsinki airport and at train stations.

The stabbing spree comes with Europe on high alert a day after drivers slammed into pedestrians in twin attacks in Spain, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 100 others. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack.

"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.

AFP

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