Feature: Conflicting demonstrations at stabbing scene in Finnish city Turku

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-20 00:08:18|Editor: yan
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TURKU, Finland, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- While Finnish political leaders called for restraint as the investigation into the motives of the Turku stabbings continued, tension increased on Saturday afternoon when different groups of people expressed sorrow for the deceased.

The nationalist anti-immigration organization Finland First set up their displays at the market square and was planning a march from the square to another square some 400 meters away, both the scene of the stabbings on Friday.

However, a counter demonstration against racism was staged near them. To avoid possible clashes, the police transferred the counter demonstrators further away from the Finland First tent.

Earlier, people of Iraqi and Syrian origin called for a demonstration at the market place in the spirit of solidarity with Finland.

The demonstration was called off when the organizers heard the nationalists would be there as well. But some 200 people showed up anyhow. Their message was condemnation of the violence.

Paula Risikko, Minister of the Interior, was asked during a press conference in Helsinki to comment on the Finland First protest. She said in Finland everyone has the right to express opinions, but added she condemns racism.

Xinhua reporters could see dozens of young people holding posters carrying slogans such as "My Turku is international" and "No racism in streets". They chanted "no room for racism" with defiant hand gestures.

Some 50 meters away were dozens of mourners gathering around a makeshift mourning place, where flowers and candles were being placed.

It was the location that a Finnish mother was stabbed to death on Friday afternoon. Police said on Saturday that the two people killed were both women, and the attacker seemed to randomly choose women to stab. Eight other people were also injured in the incident.

The police investigators said the main suspect was an 18-year-old Moroccan who had been applying for asylum in Finland for months.

Police had arrested another four Moroccans and issued a warrant for a fifth.

Crista Granroth, who is in charge of the investigation, told Xinhua that the police was regarding the case as an independent one in Turku. She said there was no sign that the group was related to the perpetrators who had killed 14 people in Spain's double terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambril.