“The incidents were initially investigated as murders, but in the light of further information received during the night, the offenses include now murders with terrorist intent and their attempts,” police said.
An 18-year-old Moroccan citizen was taken into custody after the attacks. He was injured while being apprehended by authorities, police said. A motive has not been revealed.
The stabbings occurred Friday at two markets close to each other in the city’s center. The two people killed were both Finnish. An Italian national and two Swedish citizens were among the eight people hurt, police said.
Kent Svensson, 44, of Sweden said he witnessed a man with “a huge white knife” running and stabbing people in his path.
“It was really horrible. We were sitting on a terrace just next to the square and this woman just screamed like hell and this guy was standing in front of her with a huge knife just stabbing people,” he said.
The Finnish government has condemned the stabbings.
“The act is utterly deplorable and an exceptionally serious violent offense in the Finnish context — it is deeply shocking for us all,” Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said in a statement.
The mayor of Turku, Aleksi Randell, said the city center is safe now and urged citizens to remain calm.
“I want to say this to all our residents: It is difficult to understand that such violence would happen on this scale in Turku,” he said in a statement. Occurrences that have been all too frequent in Europe and around the world have now arrived here, which is what (we’ve) been afraid of.”