News |

"Shocked and saddened": Finnish leaders react to London attack

Finland’s leaders have been swift to express their condemnation of the latest London terror attacks and to offer solidarity with the British people. The Finnish Foreign Ministry says it does not know of any Finnish victims of the attack, but is urging all Finnish nationals in the London area to let the Embassy or someone else know if they are safe.

Tutkijat tutkimassa iskupaikkaa.
Investigators on Sunday are probing the scene of the initial attack on London Bridge. Image: Matthew Chattle / AOP

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö’s office tweeted on Sunday morning that he “offers his deepest condolences [and] strongly condemns the attack in London.”

A seventh victim of the attack died on Sunday as police arrested 12 suspects in the Barking suburb of East London. Nearly 50 people were injured in the attacks, and the three apparent attackers were shot dead by police.

According to an attached statement in Finnish, “Finland sharply condemns the shocking attack in London as well as all kinds of terrorism and extremism. We will not give in nor will we be become numb even in the face of repeated acts of terror, as democracy and freedom are stronger forces than hate. On behalf of all Finns, I share the sadness of the victims' loved ones and all of Britain."

Speaking at a Finnish Defence Forces Day event at Senate Square in Helsinki later on Sunday, Niinistö did not directly refer to the London attacks. However he noted that the threat of terrorism affects Finns as well.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä tweeted: "Shocked and saddened by the news from London. Strongly condemn the attacks. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected."

Soini: Many nationalities affected

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs issued this brief statement from Foreign Minister Timo Soini on Twitter: "Sad news from London. Strongly condemn these vicious attacks. My deepest condolences to all those affected."

Speaking to Yle, Soini speculated that Britain is in the terrorists' crosshairs because it is a strong democracy and plays a very active role in international operations. He pointed out, though, that the Saturday-evening attacks took place in an area frequented by people of many nationalities.

“Acts of terror are probably more aimed at society, democracy and a way of life," he suggested. “This attack is an assault on our European way of life and must be sharply condemned."

Ministry urges Finns in area to confirm their safety

Soini said he would not recommend anyone to avoid visiting Britain, but urged travellers to fill out an online form notifying the ministry of any travel plans, and to keep family and friends informed as well.

The ministry says it does not know of any Finnish victims of the attack, but is urging all Finnish nationals in the London area to let the Embassy or someone else know if they are safe.

Interior Minister Paula Risikko added her voice to the chorus of condemnation, tweeting: "another terrorist attack in London. My condolences to those affected. We strongly condemn these attacks."

Meanwhile Yle will broadcast the One Love benefit concert for the victims of last week's Manchester terror bombing at 9 pm Sunday on TV2 and online via Areena.

Latest in: News

Headlines

Our picks

Latest

Muualla Yle.fi:ssä