August 24, 2017 / 1:44 PM / 2 months ago

Finnish police release one knife attack suspect

Press and and police pictured before the initial remand hearing of Abderrahman Mechkah (lying in a hospital bed, attending the court session via video), 18 year-old Moroccan man suspected of killing two people and attempting to kill eight others with terrorist intent in Turku, on Friday, August 19, is held at Southwest Finland District Court in Turku, Finland, August 22, 2017. LEHTIKUVA /Martti Kainulainen via REUTERS

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish police on Thursday released one of six men detained over last week’s stabbing spree that killed two women and wounded eight other people in the city of Turku.

The main suspect, who is in custody, has been named as Abderrahman Mechkah, an 18-year-old Moroccan. He told a court he was responsible for the attack but denied his motive was terrorism.

At the time of the attack, Mechkah was appealing against a decision on his application for asylum, which apparently was denied.

The released man was arrested on Wednesday along with another suspect, who remains in police custody.

Friday’s stabbings in the city of Turku have been treated as the first suspected Islamist militant attack in Finland, which boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Reporting by Tuomas Forsell; editing by Ralph Boulton

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