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Finland observes a minute of silence for victims of knife attack

The stabbing is being investigated as the country’s first terror attack.

world Updated: Aug 20, 2017 15:16 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Helsinki
Finland,Stabbing,Knife Attack
Candles and flowers are left at the makeshift memorial by well wishers for the victims of Friday's stabbings at the Turku Market Square, Finland on August 19, 2017. (AFP)

Finland observed a minute of silence on Sunday for the victims of a stabbing attack in the city of Turku that left two people dead and eight injured.

Friday’s stabbing is being investigated as the country’s first terror attack.

At Turku’s market square, where the attack happened, several hundred people gathered to hold a minute of silence at 10:00 am (0700 GMT).

Candles and flowers lay on the square, with city officials, rescue crews in uniform, police officers and the public forming a ring around the makeshift memorial. Archbishop Kari Makinen, the head of Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, was also present.

A note posted next to a bouquet of flowers read “Peace and Love - No Violence Finland”.

Bells from the Turku Cathedral, the country’s largest church, rang for 15 minutes before falling quiet for the minute of silence.

Memorial cards, candles and flowers for the victims of Friday's stabbings are placed on the Market Square in Turku, Finland August 19, 2017. (REUTERS)

One of those injured in the attack, Hassan Zubier -- a British paramedic visiting Turku who came to the aid of a woman who later died -- attended the ceremony in a wheelchair, arriving directly from the hospital.

“I wanted to show my respect to the victims,” he told Swedish daily Aftonbladet before returning to hospital for further treatment.

Similar ceremonies were held across the country.

Finnish police said Saturday that an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker deliberately targeted women in the attack. His motive was not yet known.

Police shot and wounded the knife-wielding suspect, detaining him minutes after the afternoon rampage in the southwestern city.

All of the victims were women, including the two dead, except for two men who tried to fend off the attacker. An Italian, a Swede and a Briton were among the injured.

Police were to interrogate the suspect on Sunday. He has so far refused to speak to investigators.

Prior to the minute of silence, police re-enacted the crime at the market square as part of their investigation.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 15:16 IST