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Saturday, 12 October, 2002, 20:19 GMT 21:19 UK
Finland mall bomber died in blast
Injured woman is helped into waiting ambulance after blast (AP photo)
The explosion has shocked tranquil Finland
The teenage bomber behind a blast at a shopping mall on the outskirts of Helsinki was one of the seven people who died, say police.


Nothing like this has happened in Finland before

Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen
The bomb, planted by a Helsinki University student, "was built to cause maximum damage", said a spokesman for Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen.

The bomb contained 4lb (1.8kg) of explosive materials and a number of ball-bearings or similar materials which acted as shrapnel.

Up to 80 people, including many children, were injured in Friday's blast at the three-storey Myyrmanni Shopping Mall in Vantaa, one of Finland's largest.

child injured
Many children were among the injured

Police still have no motive for the attack, but they say they did not consider it likely the attack was linked to terrorism. The bomber, whose identity is being kept secret, had no previous criminal record.

Investigators said he carried the crude home-made bomb into the mall which was packed with thousands of weekend shoppers.

He then killed himself and six others when the bomb exploded.

Scene of horror

The blast ripped through the mall as thousands were shopping there at about 1930 (1630 GMT), killing six people.


The government... will not rest until the guilty one or ones have been brought to justice

Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen
A seventh person died on Saturday in hospital, and about a dozen others underwent emergency surgery.

Eyewitnesses spoke of panic, with blood and body parts littering the scene.

Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen said the explosion had "shocked all of us Finns".

"Nothing like this has happened in Finland before.

"The government... will not rest until the guilty one or ones have been brought to justice," he said.

Part of the mall's roof collapsed in the blast, which damaged an area of about 300 square metres (3,000 sq feet).

The mall in Vantaa, a suburb some 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of the capital, has 138 shops and restaurants. It was opened in 1994 and is run by Citycon, a Finnish property company.

On Saturday evening, hundreds of people started gathering outside the scene of the explosion.

They laid flowers and lit candles and many expressed their disbelief at what had happened.

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The BBC's Raphael Jesurum
"This kind of attack in Finland is unprecedented"
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26 Sep 02 | Country profiles
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