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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Car Bomb Explodes In Helsinki

HELSINKI -- A car bomb attack on police offices in the Finnish capital overnight wounded a police officer and damaged the building, but police said Friday they had no immediate suspects for the raid.


Chief investigator Antti Turkama said the city-center bomb, concealed in a reddish-brown private car, appeared to have been deliberately aimed against a nearby building housing several departments of the Helsinki police.


"The likely target was the police ... and in that sense the whole of organized society," Turkama said, adding that about 100 police were investigating but so far had no leads. "We have no information about suspects," he said.


An anonymous caller who said he represented a Finnish nationalist group, the Finnish Peoples' Internal Liberation Front, told Finnish media his organization was responsible for the bombing.


Police said they had not heard of the group, which appears to demand the return to Finland of the Karelia region, ceded to neighboring Russia as part of a settlement at the end of World War II.


Hundreds of thousands of Finns fled their homes in Karelia when Finland was obliged to give up most of the territory after losing the second of two bitter wars against Russia in 1944.


The Finnish government has indicated that it is not likely to seek talks with Russia on the return of Karelia.


Helsinki-based diplomats thought the attack could be linked to a violent feud between motorcycle gangs.


Rival clubs MC-Undertakers and Bandidos have staged attacks on each other, including a rocket attack on a Helsinki clubhouse, since the Bandidos' new leader was shot dead in July as he rode through Sweden after visiting the Finnish chapter.


Finnish police recently raided the headquarters of one of the gangs, confiscating weapons and explosives. A diplomatic source said two bikers were in custody in the police building at the time of the attack. Turkama did not exclude the possibility that motorcycle gangsters planted the bomb, but he would not say if gang members were held at the bombed building.