Child, 12, seriously wounded after being stabbed by 'far-right knifeman' in Finland

Oulu in northern Finland, where the attack took place
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 14/06/2024

- 16:29

Updated: 14/06/2024

- 17:21

The suspect in their 30s - who will face two attempted murder charges - 'has a background in extreme right activities', authorities said

A 12-year-old child has been seriously injured after being stabbed "several times" by a "far-right" attacker in Finland.

The 12-year-old, alongside another child, was targeted in the horrific attack at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu in northern Finland late last night.

Finnish public broadcaster Yle showed images of what it said was a pool of blood on the floor of the shopping centre in the aftermath of the incident.

And now, authorities have confirmed that the suspect - who will face two attempted murder charges - "has a background in extreme right activities".


Oulu in northern Finland, where the attack took place


Finland's National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) said in a statement: "The criminal investigation is still at an early stage and the police do not know the exact motive for the act.

"They know, however, that the suspect has a background in extreme right activities."

The KRP added that the suspect, who was born in 1990, was believed to have stabbed the child several times from behind before being stopped by a security guard.

While local media said another person was chased by the suspected attacker - and was able to escape before bystanders also came to the rescue.


Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo

Finland's PM, Petteri Orpo, condemned the "cowardly" attack


In reaction to the shocking incident, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and other high-ranking officials condemned the attacker's apparent motivation.

Orpo said: "I condemn Oulu's cowardly attack on children. Far-right violence is a genuine threat in Finland - there is no room for extremism of any kind in this country."

The 12-year-old victim is now in a stable condition, police said.

Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said: "Violence in general is totally unacceptable, but violence against children is inexcusable.

"Not to mention the horror that the motive apparently comes from extremism. Children are not attacked in Finland and children should not be afraid."

Ari Soronen, the head of the Oulu branch of Finland's KRP, told Yle the attack was "raw and cruel" and came as a complete surprise to the two victims - who did not know the suspect.

Soronen added: "I must also say that the security guard who was there acted excellently in the situation and may have saved lives."

Finnish media have reported that the suspect had previously been convicted of another similar offence, and has links to "far-right activities" with the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement.

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