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Main Suspect in Finland Stabbing to Appear in Court Tuesday | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Candles and flowers have been left at the makeshift memorial for the victims of Friday’s stabbings at the Turku Market Square. (AFP)

An 18-year-old Moroccan has been identified as the main attacker in the stabbing rampage in Finland last week.

Asylum seeker Abderrahman Mechkah will appear in court on Tuesday over the knife attack in the western city of Turku that left two women dead and eight wounded.

He is being investigated for two cases of murder with terrorist intent and eight attempted murders with terrorist intent, the police said on Monday.

The case marks the country’s first terrorism-related attack.

Police said he may appear via video link from hospital after he was shot in the leg and arrested on Friday. Police said the suspect appeared to have targeted women.

Four other detained Moroccans, who deny involvement, are suspected of participation in the attacks.

Police have requested that all five detainees should be held in pre-trial detention.

Detective Inspector Crista Granroth from the National Bureau of Investigation said police would ask the court to rule on Mechkah’s detention in a hearing scheduled for 0800 GMT.

“We are prepared to arrange it via a video connection but that is up to his condition which will be determined by hospital personnel,” Granroth said.

No group has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, though police are investigating possible links to Thursday’s van attack by suspected extremist militants in the Spanish city of Barcelona where 13 people were killed.

On Sunday, police searched the premises of Turku and interviewed Mechkah as part of the investigation.

The National Bureau of Investigation said it had organized a reconstruction of Friday’s knife rampage in the western city and raided addresses in its Runosmaki district.

Three people remained in hospital on Sunday in a stable condition following the attack, medical officials said.