Armed police have opened fire on knife-wielding attackers who witnesses claim were ‘screaming Allahu Akbar’ as they went on a rampage ‘randomly stabbing people’ in Finland.
Police have confirmed “several people have been knifed” in the centre of Turku this afternoon – including ‘a woman and a baby’ in a pram, according to local media.
Early confused reports appear to suggest there may be as many as three attackers – and five women stabbed.
Video footage shot from an upper floor of a nearby building shows people fleeing in terror as cries which sounded similar to ‘Allahu Akbar’ could be heard in the background – although it’s being reported that this phrase sounds very similar to ‘watch out!’ in Finnish.
Photographs show several people covered in blood – and at least one woman lying dead on the floor.
One local media report says that witnesses turned the child in the pram away so as not to see its mother covered in blood.
Eyewitness Kent Svensson was sat in the window of a cafe when he heard “a woman scream, really really loudly”.
He said: “I saw this huge knife in his hand and he was several times stabbing this person who was then on the ground and people running everywhere and into the cafe where we were sat.
“And he was constantly stabbing people. I don’t know what he looked like, I just saw this knife, I just saw this knife… it was just awful.”
Another eyewitness, Paimii Riikka Hagman, said: “People ran and yelled and it was a terrible scandal. There were more people in it, it did not make it clear who was chasing and who was running away.”
“Then there was more screaming, and so when a woman with an about one-year old child on a pram was stabbed.
“(There) was a lot of blood and he yelled and yelled. Then he fell to the ground.
“It seemed to take ages for the ambulance to arrive. The woman was already not moving at that point.”
The police are urging people to avoid the centre of town – and there are unconfirmed reports of a bomb scare at a nearby shopping mall and police activity at the railway station.
According to information police have opened fire – and witnesses report seeing a pool of blood.
Early reports say one assailant was shot in the leg – and this person was arrested.
A police manhunt is understood to be underway for their accomplices.
Turku is on the southwest tip of Finland. The local police tweeted at 2.50pm: “Several persons stabbed in central Turku. Police has shot at suspected perpetrator. One person is apprehended.”
Five minutes earlier they tweeted: “People are advised to leave the Centre of Turku.”