Moroccan suspect named over Finland stabbings in Turku

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Makeshift memorial in Turku at scene of stabbing, 20 Aug 17Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Memorial candles mark the place where people were randomly stabbed in Friday's attack

A suspect held in Finland over a knife attack that killed two people has been named as 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker Abderrahman Mechkah.

Police shot him in the leg and he is in hospital, but he is expected to appear in court via a video link on Tuesday.

The man appeared to choose women as targets, police said, in a rampage on Friday in Turku, south-western Finland. It is being treated as terrorism.

Two Finnish women were stabbed to death. Eight other people were injured.

The injured - six of them women - included a British paramedic, a Swede and an Italian.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Paramedic Hassan Zubier was stabbed while trying to save a woman's life

The paramedic, Hassan Zubier, took part in a minute's silence for the victims on Sunday at a makeshift memorial in Turku's market square.

He is still having hospital treatment for his stab wounds, but turned up in a wheelchair. "I am not a hero. I did what I was trained for. I did my best and more," he said. He had gone to the aid of a woman who later died.

Police detained four other Moroccan men over possible links to the attack.

Finnish broadcaster YLE says Mr Mechkah was living until recently at a reception centre for asylum seekers, and he arrived in Finland last year.

The ages of the casualties ranged from 15 to 67.

Prime Minister Juha Sipila told a news conference that Finland had experienced a terrorist attack for the first time.

Crista Granroth, from the National Bureau of Investigation, said: "It seems that the suspect chose women as his targets, because the men who were wounded were injured when they tried to help, or prevent the attacks."

In addition to the four other arrests, an international search warrant has been issued for a sixth suspect.

Police said the alarm was raised at 16:02 local time (13:02 GMT) on Friday, when a man was reported to have attacked passers-by with a knife.

Witnesses said he then ran to a nearby square and stabbed more people before he was shot in the thigh. Police said he was arrested at 16:05.