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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

One Killed, 10 Injured In Sabre Attack At Finnish College

A general view of the Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio
A general view of the Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, Finland, October 1, 2019. Hannu Rainamo/Lehtikuva/via REUTERS
October 1, 2019
HELSINKI (Reuters) – One woman was killed and 10 injured at a college in eastern Finland on Tuesday when a male student attacked his fellow students and staff members with a sword, Finnish police said.
The attacker, whose motive remained unclear, used “a sabre-type of bladed weapon”, chief inspector Mikko Lyytinen told a news conference in Kuopio where the attack took place.
The wounded included a police officer and the attacker, who was seriously hurt when police opened fire to stop him at the college located at a shopping center, Lyytinen said.
Nine victims were taken to Kuopio University Hospital, its chief physician Antti Hedman said, adding that the two seriously injured patients were in stable condition.
“Eight of the patients were less seriously injured, mostly with wounds from defending themselves. Two of the ones in a better condition were already sent home,” Hedman said.
The attacker, identified as a male Finnish citizen born in 1994, was taken into custody but police refused to name him.
In addition to the sword, he carried a gun but it remained unclear whether or not he used it, police said.
At the time of the attack, there was also a small, deliberately lit fire on the shopping center’s second floor but police did not confirm if the attacker had started it.
Police found unused petrol bombs when they raided his apartment in the afternoon.
Finland Prime Minister Antti Rinne condemned the attack.
“The act of violence at Savo Vocational College in Kuopio is shocking and we utterly condemn it,” Rinne said on Twitter. “I have had discussions with top police officers and the government is following the situation closely.”
Finnish newspaper Iltalehti quoted a witness as saying that a student had come to class with a large bag, taken out a sword and attacked a teacher.
“One person died in the incident and 10 were injured, one of which was the suspect,” Ville Hokkanen, spokesman at the Eastern Finland Police Department, told Reuters. “Two of these 10 were seriously injured.”
The Nordic country, which is considered relatively safe with low crime levels, has a grim history of deadly school attacks in the past 12 years.
In 2007, a student at the Jokela High School shot eight people dead before killing himself. In 2008, a 22-year-old student at a vocational school in Kauhajoki shot 10 people dead before committing suicide.
In neighboring Sweden, a masked swordsman killed a teaching assistant and a pupil in an attack in 2015 on a school in Trollhattan.
All the victims in the Swedish attack had immigrant backgrounds and the police said the 21-year-old killer, who was shot dead, was driven by racist motives.

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