Finnish president, PM offer condolences over shopping center shooting

11:40, January 01, 2010      

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Finnish President Tarja Halonen and Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen expressed their deep condolences on Thursday to the victims and their families after a shooting rampage at a shopping center in Espoo, southern Finland.

President Halonen said that violence has been a challenge to the modern society. Several cases have proved that Finland still needs some improvements although it is a relatively safe country in the world.

Prime Minister Vanhanen said in a statement that the background of the events will be examined, especially the background and origin of the unlicensed gun. According to Vanhanen, the incident has drawn attention to the large amount of hand guns in Finland. He also noted that broad-based cooperation within the Finnish society is necessary to avoid such tragedies in the future.

Finnish Interior Minister Anne Holmlund said that the event will be investigated thoroughly.

The shooting incident in Sello shopping center in Espoo, southern Finland claimed four lives on Thursday. Besides that, the43-year-old gunman, Ibrahim Shkupolli, had shot his ex-girlfriend dead in a house in Espoo and turned the gun to himself later Thursday in a flat. Finnish police said that the suspect's motivation may be directly related to his ex-girlfriend.

Source: Xinhua
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