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Attempted attack on Finnish FM at election campaign event

Attempted attack on Finnish FM at election campaign event
Finland’s foreign minister could have been hit by a man thought to belong to a far-right anti-immigration vigilante group, if it were not for the top official’s security detail.

An unknown assailant tried to break through to Timo Soini when he was meeting people at a marketplace in Vantaa, Finland’s fourth largest city, according to local media. The attacker, who the media said was dressed in a black top bearing a Soldiers of Odin badge, was quickly overpowered by the diplomat’s bodyguards.

Finnish newspapers featured photos of the man being apprehended by Soini’s security detail. Still, the attacker managed to hit one of the guards on the head with a bottle before they wrestled him to the ground. Soini carried on his meet-and-greet activities at the market following the attack.

Soldiers of Odin, named after a Norse god, are part of a grassroots anti-immigration vigilante movement that gained notoriety on the back of the EU refugee crisis. In Finland, where it was established, authorities referred to the group as having “extremist features.”

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Ironically, Soini himself co-founded the rightwing Finns (formerly True Finns) Party, which stands for defending “Finnish values” and imposing curbs on immigration.

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