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Researcher: Jyväskylä knife attack no surprise

A researcher from the University of Eastern Finland says the persons involved in Wednesday’s knife attack at a discussion on the extreme right may be members of the nationalist Finnish Resistance Movement (Suomen Vastarintaliike).

Researcher Vesa Puuronen of the University of Eastern Finland said that Wednesday’s knife attack in Jyväskylä should come as no surprise given recent developments.

“When we consider recent political and ideological developments in Finland and Europe, then this is by no means a surprising incident,” Puuronen said in an Yle radio interview.

The Jyväskylä public library hosted an event centred on a book about the extreme right, when three young men known to be affiliated with an extreme right organization attempted to attend. An altercation ensued when the men were denied entry, resulting in one person sustaining stab wounds.

Puuronen said that the incident speaks to a general increasing tension in the political discussion arena.

The organization to which the men allegedly belong opposes the left and multiculturalism.

“Since last summer when there were changes in the organisation’s leadership, it seems to have become more active and has taken on a more violent form,” Puuronen added.

According to Yle Svenska, Dan Koivulaakso, co-author of the featured work on the extreme right, said that he was attacked last summer by neo-Nazi groups.

Koivulaakso noted that there had been other attacks on gay pride and anti-racist demonstrations in Helsinki.

Koivulaasko was present at the Jyväskylä library for the discussion on the extreme right.

Suspects held

Police have since detained some suspects in the case. They have not yet disclosed how many were held, however.

No motive has been given for the stabbing or the events that preceded it. Officials confirmed that the stabbing victim did not suffer any serious injuries.

Police say that the stabbing is being investigated as a case of aggravated assault.

Minister condemns attack

Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen on Thursday condemned all violence related to the freedom of speech and assembly. She says that authorities are carefully checking the backgrounds of those involved and any possible links to extremist groups, but warned against jumping to conclusions before the investigation is complete.

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