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Police tighten security across Finland after Turku attack

Finnish police have raised their readiness across the country in the wake of Friday afternoon's stabbing incident in central Turku. Airports and railway stations are a particular focus, and armed response units may be seen on the streets.

Aseistautuneita poliiseja Helsinki-Vantaan lentoasemalla perjantaina 18. elokuuta.
Police at Helsinki Airport on Friday evening. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Late Friday, police announced they were raising their readiness across Finland in light of a stabbing incident in Turku, in which two people were killed and eight injured.

The main suspect, an 18-year-old Moroccan man, is also in hospital after being shot by police. Four other people were detained overnight and are being questioned on Saturday.

"Police are increasing their visible patrols in the coming days," said National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen. "Officials are doing their best to prevent attacks like these."

Helsinki police announced on Twitter that they were increasing their presence in public spaces after the stabbings. Patrol units were sent to highly visible spots where large crowds are on the move, according to Esa Pennanen of Helsinki police.

He did not confirm how many additional police might be on duty as compared to a normal weekend. The goal, according to Pennanen, is to make residents feel more secure but also to lower police reaction times in case there is another incident.

"If something happens, then we are on the spot immediately," said Pennanen.

Eastern Uusimaa police also said they were raising their readiness at key locations, including Finland's main hub airport, Helsinki-Vantaa. Ari Karvonen of Eastern Uusimaa police said that the department will put armed response units on the streets to join patrols.

At a press conference on Friday evening, Interior Minister Paula Risikko said that surveillance of foreigners was to be stepped up at ports and airports.

1:05 pm: Updated throughout.

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