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Knife attacks leave two dead in Finland, one in Germany

Suspect in attack in Finnish city of Turku under arrest; police looking for assailant in Wuppertal, Germany
Rescue personnel cordon off area at Turku Market Square in Finnish city of Turku, where several people were stabbed on Friday (AFP)

A man killed two people and wounded at least eight in a stabbing rampage in a market square in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday, police said.

Police shot the suspected attacker in the leg and arrested him. They said they have yet to establish the identity of the man who appeared to be of foreign origin, or his motive.

They warned people to stay away from the city and reinforced security nationwide, with increased patrols and surveillance, in case more people were involved. People were allowed to return to the city centre a few hours later.

"At this stage, there is only one suspect and we are investigating whether there are more people involved ... but it looks likely [he was alone]," said Markus Laine from the National Bureau of Investigation.

"At this stage, we do not investigate this [as a terrorism attack) but the possibility has not been ruled out," he told a news conference.

Interior Minister Paula Risikko said: "We have not been able to confirm the person's identity ... we have been in contact with the immigration service as the person looks like a foreigner."

Eyewitnesses described the panic at the scene.

"A man walked towards the ice cream stand where I work, and he hit a woman three times. He started running, went past my kiosk, and he had a knife in his hand," Terttu Lehtinen told Reuters.

She said that some other men ran behind, apparently chasing him.

"We were sitting by the market square, just enjoying the afternoon. Suddenly people started screaming and yelling, they were hysterical," said another witness, who gave her name only as Reetta.

"We started running towards our car and, as we got there, my boyfriend said a woman had been stabbed several times in the neck," she told Reuters.

The eight wounded were taken to hospital, police said.

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Also on Friday, one man was killed and another injured in a stabbing following an argument in the western German city of Wuppertal, police said, adding that the attacker fled the scene.

"A 31-year-old man was stabbed to death. His 25-year-old brother was so badly injured in the stabbing that he had to be hospitalised," Wuppertal police said in a statement.

The police are still searching for one or more attackers, they said.

The incident happened at around 12:45 GMT in a business district of the city's Elberfeld area after a dispute erupted "for reasons that are still unclear," police said.

The two victims were from Iraq, the statement said.

On Thursday, a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona, Spain, killing 13 people and wounding scores of others.

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