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Teen shoots students at school in Finland

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A shooting at a school in the Finnish city of Vantaa injured three 12-year-old students, according to authorities.

Police said they reacted to the incident at Viertola School before 09:00 (06:00 GMT) on Tuesday and advised locals to stay indoors.

A suspect, who police claimed was also 12, fled but was subsequently apprehended.

The school has 800 students and 90 employees. According to public broadcaster YLE, children were advised to stay in their classrooms following the attack.

Children in Vantaa, north of Helsinki, had just returned to school after a lengthy Easter weekend, as did students at other Finnish schools.

Police said the suspect fled after the gunshot but was apprehended “in a calm manner” on the other side of a small river in an area in northern Helsinki. They also stated that he had been carrying a firearm, which they had removed from him.

It has not yet revealed the extent of the three children’s injuries.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo described the shooting as deeply distressing and stated that his thoughts were with the victims, their families, and everyone at the school.

The school serves children ages seven to 15 in both primary and middle school on two separate campuses.

As news of the shooting spread, parents gathered at the Jokiranta location, where students aged 9 to 12 are educated.

Initially, authorities stated that everyone involved was 13 but later amended their ages to 12.

Vantaa is Finland’s fourth-largest city, with over 240,000 people.

Finland experienced two tragic school shootings in a span of months in 2007 and 2008, triggering a tightening of firearms legislation.

However, it is well-known as a country of hunters and gun lovers, with 430,000 licenced gun owners in a population of 5.5 million, according to government figures.

There is no limit on the number of guns that can be owned, and the interior ministry reports that more than 1.5 million are in circulation.

In 2007, an 18-year-old student shot seven students and his head teacher in Tuusula, and the following year, another student killed nine students and a teacher in Kauhajoki.

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