Estonian president says attack on peaceful residents 'most despicable act'

  • 2017-08-19
  • LETA/TBT Staff

TALLINN – In remarks issued after the knife attack in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday which left two people dead, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said that an attack on peaceful residents is the most despicable act that can be imagined.

"An attack on peaceful residents is the most despicable act that I can imagine," Kaljulaid said in the statement issued on Saturday. "Ultimately, from a human point of view, it makes no difference whether this will be classified as an act of terror or 'merely' an attack – as violence against people peacefully walking the streets of a city, on a Friday afternoon, is cowardly and disgusting."

"This is a tough day and a tough weekend for Finland and Finnish people. This is also hard for Estonian people, as we have a special bond with Finland. We breathe at the same pace as Finnish people, and we usually understand them at half a word. And we suffer with them when they are feeling bad. My deepest condolences to the next of kin of the victims and all the people of Finland who were either directly or indirectly affected by this attack," the president said.

"Many of us have been to Turku; many have friends and acquaintances there. This is how it also is today, at the concert of Estonian Festival Orchestra at Turku Music Festival, conducted by Paavo Jarvi. The concert will start at 7 p.m. – let us stop then for a moment here, in Estonia, to think of our neighbors in support," she added.

Police in Finland are investigating a stabbing spree that left two people dead as a terrorist attack and have identified the suspect as an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen.

"The incidents were initially investigated as murders, but in light of further information received during the night, the offences include now murders with terrorist intent and their attempts," police said in a statement. The suspect's "identity is known to the police. He is an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen," it said, providing no other details.

Police shot and wounded the knife-wielding suspect on Friday, arresting him minutes after an afternoon stabbing rampage at a busy market square in Turku in southwestern Finland.

Police on Saturday raised the number of injured in the attack from six to eight, adding that the injured included an Italian national and two Swedes. The other victims were all Finns.