A British man who was injured while rushing to the defence of women who were stabbed during a terror attack in Finland has said: ‘I am not a hero.’
Two Finnish women were killed and seven people, including Hassan Zubier, were wounded in the knife rampage in the city of Turku, 90 miles west of the capital, Helsinki.
Mr Zubier, who is reportedly a Kent-born paramedic now living in Sweden, said he was stabbed as he tried to help others, including a woman who died in his arms.
But he told the BBC: ‘I am not a hero. I did what I was trained for. I did my best and more.’
The suspect has been identified as an 18-year-old Moroccan – just like the Barcelona terror cell member thought to be behind Thursday’s van attack.
Four other Moroccans have been arrested.
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Stab victim Hassan Zubier, 45, pictured, was slashed repeatedly as he tried to help an injured woman in the aftermath of the knife rampage in Finland
Police and emergency services rushed to Turku in response to the attack. ‘International terrorism’ has not been ruled out as a motive, the police chief for the area said
An armed police officer stands guard at the Turku Market Square where eight people were stabbed during a bloody attack which began at 16:02. The suspect was shot in the leg by police and arrested by 16:05 and taken to hospital, police announced at a press conference tonight
Investigators are treating the stabbings in Finland as terrorism with the attacker thought to have deliberately targeted women.
The victims – including the Briton, five Finns, an Italian and a Swede – are thought to have been ‘randomly selected bystanders’.
Mr Zubier, 45, was slashed repeatedly as he tried to help an injured woman who died in his arms during yesterday’s bloody rampage.
He said: ‘We were strolling around the square when we suddenly heard someone screaming. I turned around.
‘I saw a guy stabbing a woman with a knife while she lies on the ground.
‘I rushed to help her and tried to stop the blood flow. Others gave her heart and lung assistance.’
The attacker then turned to slash at Zubier’s girlfriend. He said that he rushed between her and the armed man and was stabbed twice.
Mr Zubier said the attacker then moved away and he returned to the injured woman who he believed was dying on the ground.
The shrouded body of a stabbing victim on the Market Square in Turku, Finland after several people were stabbed. A man is thought to have stabbed several people in Finland’s western city of Turku before police shot him in the leg and detained him, police said
Floral tributes and candles were left at the scene last night by mourners
Following the attack memorial candles were placed in tribute to the victims
Eight people were injured and two were killed in the stabbing attack
He continued: ‘I try to stop the violent bleeding from her throat. Then he stabs me with the knife again. The woman is so badly injured and she dies in my arms.’
Mr Zubier said that he has been stabbed in his neck, in his chest, at the side of the chest and on the back of his shoulders.
‘My left hand is seriously injured. A nerve is injured, it is not certain that they can save the arm. I’m going to the MRI now, the doctors will then decide what to do.’
Mr Zubier and his girlfriend were on holiday in Turku. They were planning to have taken a cruise ship back to Stockholm on Friday night.
Eight people were taken to hospital following the stabbing spree, including a woman who was pushing a pram. Some are in a critical condition.
Rescue personnel cordon the place where people were stabbed at Turku Market Square
Ambulance cars gather at the site of a multiple stabbing on the Market Square in Turku
Emergency services responding to the attack in Turku. A wounded victim can be seen lying on the floor in the Market Square
One Briton is among the injured and the UK embassy said it is providing consular assistance. He is thought to have sustained minor injuries.
As well as the teenager – who is an asylum seeker – four other Moroccan nationals have been arrested.
Finnish police said they were reinforcing security nationwide, with additional patrols and boosted surveillance following the stabbings.
Speaking to US broadcaster CNN, Kent Svensson, 44, said: ‘This guy had this huge knife in his hand – and several times he was stabbing this person. People were just running everywhere.
‘This guy was just constantly stabbing. He was just turning around, flinging his knife everywhere. There were people lying everywhere.
A man sits on the pavement with a bloody shirt in front of an ambulance while, next to him, another victim lies with wounds
Scene of the carnage: A general view of Turku Market Square, where people were stabbed
‘People were screaming and running. We were just talking about what happened in Barcelona.
‘We thought we were safe in Finland. And then this happens. The woman was on the ground. She was dead. It’s just awful.
‘I can just see this huge knife in his hand and he’s just stabbing.’
The rampage came just hours after 13 were slaughtered in a horror van massacre on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas.
Spanish police are searching for 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, who they are increasingly sure was at the wheel of the rented vehicle which mowed down innocent victims at the tourist hotspot.
Moussa Oukabir, 17, is thought to have been involved in the attack in Barcelona
Investigators first thought 17-year-old Moussa Oukabir, who rented two vans linked to the atrocity using documents stolen from his older brother, had been driving. He was among five suspects shot dead by police.
In Finland, at least one person was pictured lying bleeding and motionless on the pavement among other victims in the southwestern city of Turku.
The attack began at 4.02pm, officials said, with the suspect arrested at 4.05pm.
In a video purporting to show the aftermath of the attack, people can be seen fleeing in the street.
It was also reported that a man was heard screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ during the attack, but others have stressed this was merely misheard Finnish.
President of Finland Sauli Niinisto speaks to journalists as he arrives for a prayer service at the Turku Cathedral for the victims of the stabbing attack which began today at 16:02
Eight people have been sent to hospital and some are in a critical condition. A woman pushing a pram was said to be among the victims
Police officers stand next to a person lying on the pavement in the Finnish city of Turku where several people were stabbed. At least two people have been killed
Pictured: People can be seen fleeing the scene in Turku, Finland. The Turun Sanomat newspaper said that at least one person was killed in the attack
Turun Sanomat said police were inspecting departing trains and buses.
‘The government is following the situation in Turku closely and a police operation is under way,’ tweeted Prime Minister Juha Sippila ahead of a cabinet meeting.
‘Police are looking for other possible perpetrators of the crime in Turku,’ security forces wrote on Twitter.
‘They ask the population to leave and avoid central Turku.’
In 2012, Finland’s then-prime minister Jyrki Katainen escaped a knife attack in Turku while campaigning for municipal elections.
Eyewitness reported hearing one or more gunshots and seeing at least one person lying dead on the ground. Pictured: An image from the scene showing a body covered on the pavement
Pictured: The scene in Turku. Several people have been injured and one killed after a man went on a rampage with a knife. Police said they are searching for more potential suspects
Pictured left: A wounded person sits on the pavement in Turku surrounded by police after the series of stabbings. Right: Blood can be seen on the ground after the attack as victims sit next to an ambulance
The man who approached him carrying a knife was found to be psychologically disturbed and no charges were brought against him.
According to local media site Uutiset, police tweeted: ‘Several people stabbed in central Turku. People are requested to avoid the city centre.’
Moments later a suspect was shot in the leg and arrested.
Witness Laura Laine said she was alerted by hearing a young woman screaming loudly at the corner of the market square.
‘We saw a man at the square, he had knife in his hand, and he was swinging it in the air. We understood he had stabbed someone,’ she told Finnish broadcaster YLE.
The bloody attack occurred in Turku, Finland
Blood on the floor outside a shop in Turku after a knifeman went on a rampage in the Finnish city. Security has been upped across the country in response to the attack
Pictured: The scene in Turku as police and ambulances rush to the market square after a series of stabbings
Pictured left: A police van in Turku. Right: A victim lies injured on the ground
According to Hufvudstadsbladet, witnesses have reported seeing people walking around with baseball bats in the area following the attack.
Ilta-Sanomat, meanwhile, is reporting that people in the street tried to prevent the attack as it was going on.
One is reported to have used a baseball bat to strike the attacker.
‘Police have told us not to go to the city center so we are in this coffee shop a few blocks away from the city center,’ said Vanessa Deggins, an American who is studying business in one of Turku’s three universities.
She didn’t witness the actual attack, but heard sirens going past.
Rescue services attend the scene after a multiple people were stabbed in Finland’s western city of Turku before police shot him in a leg and detained him, police said
Police and emergency services at the scene in Turku
A still from a video reportedly taken at the scene which shows people fleeing and screaming in the street
Pictured: Police on patrol in the streets of Helsinki in response to the attack in Turku
Armed police secure the area after several people were stabbed on the Market Square
Pictured: A police car parked outside Helsinki’s Central Railway Station after security was upped in the capital
Eight people are reported to be injured, including one man and five women. One of the women was pushing a pram when she was attacked by a man with a large knife. Pictured: A policeman in central Helsinki as security is upped in the wake of the attack
She added: ‘This is a safe country by American standards. I have gone home alone at 2-3 a.m. … I feel safe. This is a safe country.’
The attack comes just a day after at least 14 people were killed and over a hundred hurt in terror attacks in Catalonia.