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Child arrested after three injured in Vantaa school shooting

Three children have been injured in a shooting at a primary school in Finland after a pupil opened fire.

Finnish police said all those involved in the shooting were 12 years old, and that the shooter was also a minor.

Local police added that one person had been detained.

The incident occurred at Viertolan Koulu school in the southern Vantaa, a suburb to the capital, Helsinki, at just after 7am on Tuesday morning UK time.

The victims were taken to hospital, a police spokesperson told Reuters.

The Interior Minister, Mari Rantanen, posted on X: “The day started in a horrifying way. There has been a shooting incident at the Viertola school in Vantaa. I can only imagine the pain and worry that many families are experiencing at the moment. The suspected perpetrator has been caught.”

Local police have warned people to stay away from the area but that the immediate danger at the school was over.

Vantaa has a population of around 250,000 people, and is the forth largest city in the country.

Finland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world.

There are roughly 1.5 million licensed firearms in Finland, as per government statistics, despite the country’s small population of just 5.6 million. With 430,000 license holders in the country, this means roughly 12 per cent of Finns own a firearm

Hunting and shooting clubs remain a popular hobby in Finland, where military service, which includes firearms training, remains mandatory for all men over 18.

Firearm use in the country is heavily regulated. Residents looking to get a gun license in Finland need to supply details about their intended purpose of use, as well as pass a criminal record check.

This is only the third school shooting to have been recorded in Finland.

In 2008, a 22-year-old student shot and killed ten people with a semi-automatic pistol at a university in South Ostrobothnia in Western Finland.

An 18-year-old student shot seven of his fellow pupils dead in 2007 in Tuusula in the south of Finland.

Despite high levels of gun ownership, levels of gun violence remain modest by international standards.

Finland reported 0.09 gun-related homicides per 100,000 people in 2019, compared to 3.15 in the United States and 20.68 in Mexico.

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