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'Threatening man' apprehended after approaching Finnish foreign affairs minister at rally

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By Rachael Kennedy
'Threatening man' apprehended after approaching Finnish foreign affairs minister at rally
Copyright  Timo Valtonen via Storyful

A man wearing a t-shirt of an anti-immigration group was apprehended in rural Finland on Sunday after displaying "aggressive and threatening" behaviour toward the country's foreign minister, Timo Soini, police said.

Soini was attending an election rally at a market in the Korso district of Vantaa when the suspect, wearing a t-shirt bearing the emblem of Finnish anti-immigration group Soldiers of Odin (SoO), made his approach.

The suspect was prevented from going further, which led to "a physical struggle," the local police department said in a statement.

Footage of the struggle was shared on social media and can be viewed in the player above.


Soini thanked the officers for "their good work" in a statement released on Sunday evening, adding that he was "happy to leave" Vantaa after the incident.

The incident was also widely condemned by Finland's political community, with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila saying it was "an attack on democracy."

"An attack on democracy is unacceptable," he said.

"Political violence should not be accepted. We must work together to defend our valuable common democracy."

Despite the suspect wearing a Soldiers of Odin t-shirt, the right-wing group has denied any affiliation.

SoO founder Mika Ranta maintains the man's shirt was merely a "supporter shirt," and was different to the shirts worn by official members.