FINLAND — At least two people have been killed and six others hospitalized in a stabbing attack in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday, police said.
Three people are now undergoing surgery, state broadcaster YLE reports, citing hospital sources.
Police earlier shot and arrested a suspect after the stabbing in the southwestern city and said they were searching for other possible perpetrators.
The suspect was shot in the leg after the attack, said police, who warned the public to move away from the city center.
The attack occurred at two market places close to each other in the city center — Kauppatori, known in English as Central Market Square, as well as the Puutori Market Square, police said.
Police earlier said that it was too early to tell whether the attack was terror-related.
“We have a heightened awareness level of terrorism currently but we did not have any specific threats to act upon,” Turku Superintendent Stephan Sundqvist told CNN.
Sundqvist said that he received reports of the stabbings at 4 p.m. local time and that police were on the scene within a few minutes.
“There was only one shot fired and the aggressor was apprehended and brought to hospital,” he said, confirming that a total of eight people were stabbed.
“(We are) looking into whether there are more perpetrators but no certain information.”
The attack has prompted a boost to police patrols across the country and security has been tightened at the Helsinki-Vantaan airport and train stations.
Turku lies around 140 kilometers (around 85 miles) west of the capital, Helsinki.
‘There was blood everywhere’
Kent Svensson, 44, from Sweden who was in Turku said he witnessed a man with “a huge white knife” running and stabbing people in his path.
“It was really horrible. We were sitting on a terrace just next to the square and this woman just screamed like hell and this guy was standing in front of her with a huge knife just stabbing people,” he said.
“There was blood everywhere,” he said, adding that he saw a victim lying on the ground.
Finnish media published photographs of the attack site, and one showed a body covered with a white sheet. Others showed a small crowd around someone apparently bleeding on a cobblestone road and several ambulances around a cordoned off area.
Police said on Twitter they were also patrolling a shopping mall.