A seven-year-old boy was taken to hospital with serious injuries after a suspected assault by an older boy while walking home from school in the city of Jyväskylä in Central Finland, according to a report in the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat. According to the newspaper, the older boy is a sixth grader, so probably aged 12-14.
The incident occurred on Friday afternoon, the newspaper added, and although police have confirmed that they are investigating, they are not willing to divulge too many further details about the case at this stage.
"I would not like to specify in case a particular school or area is stigmatised. The discussion has already become a hot topic on social media," Detective Inspector Saara Asmundela told IS, adding that both the victim and the suspect in the case are under 15 years of age.
The father of the victim told Ilta-Sanomat that his son had to undergo surgery as he had sustained a fractured femur, among other injuries.
He added that the boys did not know each other prior to the incident.
According to Asmundela, the police have heard from both parties as well as witnesses over the weekend, but as children under the age of 15 are not criminally liable for their actions under Finnish law, the case will not lead to a prosecution.
Concern mounts over school bullying, violence
The suspected assault in Jyväskylä, which is especially notable for the young age of both the victim and the suspect, is the latest incident of school violence or bullying to be reported in Finnish media.
In September, the Finnish Parents' League said it was concerned by an apparent failure on the part of school administrators to sufficiently tackle the issue.
This followed a violent incident at a school in Vantaa which generated a good deal of discussion and media coverage.