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Flags fly at half-mast for victim of eastern Finland attack

An attack by a young man wielding a sword-like weapon on Tuesday claimed the life of one woman and injured nine others.

Suruliputus savon ammattiopistolla Kuopion presidentinkadulla.
A flag at half-mast at a vocational college in Kuopio. Image: Sami Takkinen / Yle

Flags flew at half-mast in Finland on Thursday in memory of a woman who was killed during an attack at a vocational college in Kuopio, eastern Finland on Tuesday.

The assailant, identified as 25-year-old Joel Otto Aukusti Marin, injured nine others with the sabre-like weapon and also sustained injuries when police detained him after responding to an emergency alert at the institution.

Police said on Thursday that they had been able to question the suspect about the incident on Wednesday but could not say what motivated the attack.

"The suspect spoke about the course of events on Tuesday, but for investigative reasons the contents of the questioning cannot be disclosed. The suspect will be questioned several times again," said lead investigator Detective Inspector Olli Töyräs of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Remand hearing on Friday

Yle reported on Thursday that the woman who was killed during the attack was a Ukrainian citizen, but police did not confirm this information, noting that they were still working with other authorities to confirm her identity.

Police are considering charges on one count of murder as well as several additional counts of attempted murder in the case. A remand hearing is due to take place in the Kuopio district court on Friday.

Meanwhile on Thursday, the suspect, who is in an intensive care unit in hospital participated in a preliminary hearing ahead of the remand sitting via a video link.

Kuopio paper Savon Sanomat reported on Wednesday that the attack was the first time in Finnish history that rescue services were alerted to respond to a "mass shooting", as emergency services only adopted the new response category this year. Police were alerted at 12:29, and by 12:37 they had apprehended the suspect.

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