Tue, Aug 22, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Finland’s suspect to appear in court

Reuters, HELSINKI

An 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker is to appear in court today over a knife attack in the city of Turku that killed two women and wounded eight people in what police suspect is Finland’s first terrorism-related assault.

The court yesterday named the suspect as Abderrahman Mechkah. Police said he might appear via video from the hospital after he was shot in the leg and arrested on Friday.

Police said the suspect appeared to have targeted women.

The crimes are being treated as murder and attempted murder with terrorist intent, the court said.

Police have requested that Mechkah be detained during preliminary investigations.

Finnish National Bureau of Investigation Detective Inspector Crista Granroth said police would ask the court to rule on the suspect’s detention in a hearing scheduled for 8am local time.

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

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

No group has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack.

Several hundred people on Sunday gathered in the market square where the attack happened to hold a minute of silence.

Among the crowd were emergency workers, city officials and police who formed a ring around a memorial of candles and flowers.

In attendance was also Hassan Zubier, a visiting British paramedic who was injured in the attack after coming to the aid of a woman who later died.

“I wanted to show my respect to the victims,” he told Swedish daily Aftonbladet before returning to hospital for further treatment.

Three other victims remained in the hospital on Sunday in a stable condition, medical officials said.

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