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Turku replaces attack victims' candle memorial with commemorative tree

Not long after the knife attack in downtown Turku was carried out, people began placing candles, flowers and notes at the city's Market Square in memory of the victims, resulting in a glowing sea of candlelight. Now, nearly two weeks since the violence shook Finland, the city has removed the candle memorial and replaced it with a commemorative tree.

Kauppatorilla on Turun puukotusten muistopuu
Memorial tree for the knife attack victims at Turku's Market Square. Image: Paula Koskinen / Yle

On Wednesday Turku city workers removed the candles, flowers and cards left for the victims of the knife attack in the centre of the city earlier this month in order to replace it with a memorial tree.

The tree will be lit at night and remain at the marketplace throughout the autumn.

The city says that the candles and flowers would be discarded but the cards and letters written by the public were being sent to the city's museum centre.

kynttilöitä siivotaan
City workers remove candle memorial earlier this week. Image: Eino Kossila / Yle

This year's annual Turku Day proceedings on September 17 will feature an event honoring the victims of the attack.

Turun puukotusten muistopuu
Memorial tree for the knife attack victims at Turku's Market Square. Image: Paula Koskinen / Yle
 

In the late afternoon of Friday, August 18, a man carried out a knife attack, killing two women and injuring eight others.

The main suspect, caught minutes after police received the first call about the attack, faces charges of two counts of murder with terrorist intent and eight counts of attempted murder with terrorist intent. Other individuals are believed to have cooperated in plotting the attack, according to investigators.

The case marks the first time Finnish authorities have charged a person with terrorism-related crimes.

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