Several people were stabbed in the street in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday leaving two dead and eight injured, with police shooting a suspect and warning several others could still be at large.
Police shot one suspect in the legs and arrested him, while security forces wrote on Twitter that police were “looking for other possible perpetrators”.
“They ask the population to leave and avoid central Turku,” the tweet added. Public television station Yle reported that central Turku was on lockdown, with businesses shut.
MTV3 television reported that police have raised security at Helsinki airport and at train stations.
The stabbing spree comes with Europe on high alert a day after drivers slammed into pedestrians in twin attacks in Spain, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 100 others. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack.
"The act is utterly deplorable and an exceptionally serious violent offence in the Finnish context – it is deeply shocking for us all," Prime Minister Juha Sipila said in a statement after holding a conference call with his government.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "It is with great concern that I have learned of the violent attacks in Turku, Finland. While details are still emerging, we strongly condemn this unprovoked attack which comes only 24 hours after the horror that unfolded in Spain."
In 2012, Finland’s then-prime minister Jyrki Katainen escaped a knife attack in Turku while campaigning for municipal elections.
The man who approached him carrying a knife was found to be psychologically disturbed and no charges were brought against him.