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‘Neo Nazi’ knifeman assaults two youngsters at Finnish procuring centre

A man with far-right sympathies has attacked two children at a Finnish shopping centre, leaving a 12-year-old child seriously wounded.

The suspect has named by public broadcaster Yle as Sebastian Lamsa, a former key member of a banned neo nazi group, the Nordic Resistance Movement (PVL). 

Lamsa targeted the children, who are Finnish nationals of foreign background, at the Valkea shopping centre in the northern Finnish city of Oulu shortly after 6.30pm on Thursday. 

The 12-year-old child was in a stable condition after being seriously wounded in the attack, police said. The injuries were not life-threatening.

Lamsa, who was born in 1990, was believed to have stabbed the child several times from behind before being stopped by a security guard just eight seconds after he launched the attack.

The suspect targeted the children at a shopping centre in the northern Finnish city of Oulu late on Thursday, and will face preliminary charges of two attempted murders, the National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement

The suspect targeted the children at a shopping centre in the northern Finnish city of Oulu late on Thursday, and will face preliminary charges of two attempted murders, the National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement

Yle showed images of what it said was a pool of blood on the floor of the shopping centre. 

Lamsa was arrested by police outside the shopping centre immediately after the attack. Investigators said he will face preliminary charges of two attempted murders.

‘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 National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Lamsa has a background in right-wing extremism and has been previously convicted of violent crimes, Yle reports.

In 2012, he pepper-sprayed a left-wing politician at a Pride event in Oulu, before being convicted of stabbing a person at a lecture on the spread of far-right groups in 2013.

He was given a suspended sentence of one year and a half for the stabbing. 

Yle also reported that Lamsa was a suspect in another case after a two-kilogram package addressed to him was suspected of containing explosives in March 2021. The case is still being investigated.

In 2018 the PVL, the neo nazi group Lamsa was part of, was banned for hate speech and violence against foreigners and Jews, a ruling that was upheld by Finland’s Supreme Court two years later. 

Finland‘s Prime Minister Petteri Orpo condemned the attack.

‘Far-right violence is a genuine threat in Finland,’ Orpo said in a post on social media X. ‘There is no room for extremism of any kind in this country.’

Locals in Oulu were shocked and outraged over the stabbing, with one mother telling Yle she was worried about the future and and letting her two young children go anywhere ‘when something like this happens almost every day’.

‘Extremist movements have reared their heads in an unpleasant way throughout Finland. We should all be concerned about this and the increase in racism,’ a man told the broadcaster.