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Crowds in Turku honour victims of Friday attack

Those gathered to commemorate the victims of Friday's knifings in Turku included city, police and faith leaders, as well as a British medic who treated one of the two women who died.

Video: Hiljainen hetki Turun perjantaisen puukotusiskun uhreille Turun kauppatorilla sunnuntaina 20. elokuuta 2017.
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Turkulaiset kokoontuivat kello 10 hiljaiseen hetkeen kauppatorille, jonne on tuotu puukotusten uhrien muistoksi kynttilöitä ja kukkia. Video: Yle

Large numbers of people gathered on Sunday morning in Turku to honour those killed and injured in Friday's suspected terror act in the city centre.

Among those attending the commemoration at Turku's Market Square was Hassan Zubier, a 45-year-old British medic who lives in Stockholm. He was visiting Turku as a tourist, along with his partner, who was stabbed in the shoulder.

Zubier was stabbed multiple times as he tried to defend her and to save the life of another woman stabbed in the attack. Zubier arrived in a wheelchair but stood up along with others around a sea of candles and flowers during the moment of silence at 10 am.

The British Embassy in Helsinki says it has "been in touch with the British national and offered consular support".

Meanwhile local paper Turun Sanomat carries a story on Sunday about local resident Ahmad Hosseini, 18, who brought flowers to the site on Saturday.

Hosseini, an Afghan asylum seeker, was among those who chased the assailant and provided first aid to victims on Friday. He is studying to become a practical nurse while awaiting an asylum decision. He has lived in Finland since 2015.

"Everyday life goes on"

Around 9.30 am, city and police officials along with religious leaders laid flowers and candles at the site. They included Lutheran Archbishop Kari Mäkinen, local Police Chief Tapio Huttunen and Mayor Aleksi Randell.

Huttunen tells Yle that Turku is still a good, safe place to live, and that he expects the Market Square to again become a lively meeting-place for city-dwellers. He added that police will maintain a higher profile on the street, at least during the next week.

Randell says that while the events were utterly shocking, he expects life to begin to return to normal after a couple of days.

"When we see how people have come together and how everyday life goes on, it makes us feel better amid all of this," he said.

Hundreds also gathered at Turku's thirteenth-century Lutheran Cathedral, just over the River Aura from the scene of the attacks.

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