A passenger at Helsinki Airport on 22 February 2021. A military police officer pointed a firearm at an air passenger after entering the wrong terminal during a recent military exercise at Helsinki Airport, writes MTV Uutiset. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

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AN EXERCISE by the Finnish Defence Forces recently went awry at Helsinki Airport.

MTV Uutiset on Wednesday revealed that two military police officers wandered from the terminal designated as the training area into one that was open to the public during the exercise, with one of them shouting orders and pointing their firearm at an ordinary passenger.

“I saw men in camouflage clothing, and I had time to think that maybe they’re army boys heading off for their holidays, until I saw they were wearing masks,” the Finnish woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the news outlet.

“I walked into the bathroom, I almost threw up and my hands were shaking. For a second there I thought it was a terrorist attack,” she described her state after the encounter.

She added that she was consoled and calmed down by a pair of police officers, who revealed that military officers participating in the exercise had forcibly apprehended also another civilian, an older man, whom they believed to be their target.

MTV Uutiset wrote that the exercise is part of a series of exercises organised to improve co-operation with authorities in different parts of the country between 1 and 14 March. Also participating at Helsinki Airport were the Finnish Border Guard, Eastern Uusimaa Police Department and Central Uusimaa Rescue Department.

The official in charge of the exercise told the news outlet that an airport official inadvertently opened the door to the wrong terminal for the two military police officers.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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