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"Armed and dangerous": Suspects still at large in shooting of two police officers in southern Finland

Police have advised the public to call emergency services at 112 in a crisis or if they see anything suspicious.

Porvoossa oli meneillään suuri poliisioperaatio varhain sunnuntaina 25. elokuuta. Tutkintaa tehtiin Ölstensin teollisuusalueella.
Police said that the suspected shooters had not yet been found. Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

Police are asking members of the public to contact the authorities if they have any information relating to last night’s shooting in Porvoo, in which two officers were injured. The National Bureau of Investigation NBI said Sunday afternoon on Twitter that the assailants are "armed and dangerous".

The organisation also noted however that they had no information about any concrete threats. Police are still attempting to locate the fugitives and advised the public to call the emergency services at 112 in the event of a crisis or if they see anything suspicious. Investigators have given no indication about the possible location of the suspected shooters. A news conference has been scheduled for 5.00pm on Sunday.

The National Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case of two police officers who were reportedly shot while on duty shortly after midnight on Saturday in the southern Finland town of Porvoo, some 50 kilometres east of Helsinki. Police said in a brief statement around 10.00am Sunday morning that the officers were responding to a call in the town's Eestinmäki district when they came under fire.

According to the statement, the shooting is being investigated as a case of attempted murder. Regional paper Uusimaa reported Sunday the suspected shooters had been detained by police. However the in the NBI stressed in the statement that suspects had not been detained and that police were still "actively searching" for the shooters.

Police mum on suspects' possible location

Police commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen told Yle that police have an idea of how the incident unfolded on Saturday night and that officials are continuing to develop the narrative. The police chief said he could not go into details, citing the ongoing investigation.

He did confirm to Yle that the suspected perpetrators had not yet been found. However he declined to reveal whether or not they were still in the Porvoo area or had managed to slip through the police dragnet.

The incident reportedly occurred at Koneistajantie in Eestinmäki. Media reported that authorities conducted a large-scale operation in the area following the shooting, in which heavily armed police stopped and searched motorists on the Porvoo highway.

A helicopter was deployed to sweep the area for the suspects while tactical officers from the specialist Bear Team unit also joined the manhunt, local media reported.

Yle reporter Emil Johansson said that the operation appeared to wrap up around 6.30 on Sunday morning, when the last police vehicles left the area. The wounded police officers received treatment for their injuries and were said to be in no grave danger, field chief Olavi Merihaara told Uusimaa.

"They are now in good hands at the hospital and doing well," Merihaara said.

Meanwhile officers continued technical investigations in the Ölstens industrial areas in western Porvoo on Sunday, according to Johansson. Resident Vesa Karinaho told Johansson that police asked him for access to a storage warehouse where he kept a motorcycle. They wanted to check surveillance footage of the property.

Police sweep industrial area

Police issued a terse statement about the shooting at about 2.50 am on Sunday, but have so far not disclosed the exact time that the shooting took place. Officials sealed off the area surrounding an ST1 petrol station in Eestinmäki.

According to Yle’s man on the scene Johansson, police could be seen sweeping an area near the Eestinmäki daycare centre, adjoining the ST1 compound.

A photographer working with the Lehtikuva photo agency, which is jointly owned by the country’s largest news organisations, said that another team could be seen checking the nearby Ölstens industrial park.

The Porvoo incident was the second time this weekend police had been shot at. In a separate incident in Jyväskylä early Saturday morning, an officer was reportedly shot in the face with an air rifle. The officer was said to have sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

This is a developing story.

Edit: Updated at 9.40am to indicate that police said the suspected shooters had not been held.
Updated at 10.14am to add information about efforts to track the shooters and another shooting incident in Jyväskylä.
Updated at 10.33am with details about the circumstances and time of the shooting and the nature of the NBI investigation.

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