Several people of immigrant background have experienced more verbal and even physical abuse following the suspected terror attack in Turku, South-west Finland, on 18 August, reports Helsingin Sanomat.
The Eastern Uusimaa Police Department has confirmed that it is investigating the attempted aggravated assault stabbing of a young man in Pähkinärinne, Vantaa, on Sunday.
YLE and Helsingin Sanomat both report that the victim of the attempted assault says he was approached by two men who asked if he was a Muslim before one of the men brandished a knife and tried to stab him.
The victim managed to flee with minor injuries and reported the incident to police, writes Helsingin Sanomat.
“Police are investigating an attempted aggravated assault,” reads a press release from the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department. “The attack having a racist motive is one line of inquiry, but police cannot confirm that the act was racist. Police’s information [about the incident] is based primarily on information provided by the plaintiff. The incident had no eyewitnesses.”
Both of the suspected offenders have yet to be found and brought in for questioning, according to Helsingin Sanomat.
Suspected assault in Espoo
Helsingin Sanomat also calls attention to a second, possibly racially motivated assault. A 16-year-old girl of Somali background was assaulted by an elderly man in the staircase of her apartment building in Leppävaara, Espoo.
A relative of the victim told the newspaper that the elderly man verbally abused the girl in the staircase and accused her of the events in Turku. The man then hit the girl in the head as she tried to back off, causing her to fall down the stairs.
She was taken to hospital, reportedly with a concussion.
“We’ve yet to have the time to interview the parties to the incident, so we’re still trying to determine what exactly happened,” Jyrki Kallio, a detective inspector at the Western Uusimaa Police Department, told the newspaper.
Vandalism in Parainen
A man has also been taken into custody for breaking the windows of an immigrant-owned pizzeria in Parainen, a municipality located some ten kilometres south of Turku, in the early hours of Saturday.
Kari Puolitaival, the deputy chief of police at the South-west Finland Police Department, reminded in a news conference that it remains unknown whether the act of vandalism was a reaction to the stabbings that had occurred less than a day earlier in Turku.
“We’re looking into the cause of the act. No other similar cases have been brought to our attention,” he stated according to YLE.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva