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Finland names Turku knife attack suspect as Abderrahman Mechkah

Police say country's first terror attack deliberately targeted women

Samuel Osborne
Monday 21 August 2017 10:06 BST
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Police patrol the Turku Market Square, Finland
Police patrol the Turku Market Square, Finland (Lehtikuva/Vesa Moilanen/via Reuters)

A Finnish court has named the main suspect in a knife attack in the southwestern city of Turku that killed two women and wounded eight others.

Police shot and arrested 18-year-old Moroccan Abderrahman Mechkah after the incident on Friday afternoon, which authorities are treating as a terrorist attack.

Authorities have requested Mechkah, who is currently in hospital, be detained during preliminary investigations.

They said he may appear in court via video link from hospital.

Two dead following stabbings in Finnish city of Turku

Detective Inspector Crista Granroth from the National Bureau of Investigation said police would ask the court to rule on the suspect's detention in a hearing.

"We are prepared to arrange it via a video connection but that is up to his condition which will be determined by hospital personnel," Ms Granroth said.

Police earlier said the role of four other Moroccan men, detained over possible links to the Turku attack, was yet to be fully established.

The knife rampage, Finland's first terrorism-related attack, deliberately targeted women, police said.


 Police officers tend to an injured person in Turku 
 (AFP/Getty Images)

No group has claimed responsibility, though police are investigating possible links to Thursday's van attack by Islamist militants in the Spanish city of Barcelona where 13 people were killed in an attack claimed by Isis.

Finnish broadcaster MTV, citing an unnamed source, said the suspect had been denied asylum in Finland, although police said he had only been "part of the asylum process".

Police also arrested four other Moroccan men over possible links to him and issued an international arrest warrant for a sixth Moroccan, they said.

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