Bomb kills 7 in Oslo and several dead in shooting
A bomb killed seven people in Norway's capital Oslo on Friday and a gunman opened fire at a youth camp on...
A bomb killed
seven people in Norway's capital Oslo on Friday and a gunman opened fire
at a youth camp on an island, police said.
Police said they believed the
bombing and the shooting were connected, but could not immediately
confirm Norwegian media reports that several people at been killed at
the youth camp.
A Reuters witness said several army soldiers had taken up position around the center of the city.
police advising people to evacuate central Oslo, apparently in fear of
more attacks, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told Norwegian TV2
television in a phone call that the situation was "very serious." He
said that police had told him not to say where he was speaking from.
bomb ripped through the main government building in the normally sleepy
Norwegian capital in mid-afternoon, killing seven people, police said,
and injuring many more.
exploded -- it must have been a bomb. People ran in panic...I counted at
least 10 injured people," said bystander Kjersti Vedun, who was leaving
the area of the blast in Oslo.
afterwards, a gunman opened fire at the island of Utoeya north-west of
Oslo, where Stoltenberg's Labour party youth section's annual gathering
was taking place.
Daily newspaper VG said on its website a man dressed as a policeman had been shooting wildly and had hit many people.
Norwegian commercial broadcaster TV2 said several people had been killed in the shooting spree.
was no clear claim of responsibility and while the attacks appeared to
bear the hallmarks of an Islamist militant assault, analysts said it was
too early to draw any conclusions.
NATO member Norway has been the target of threats before over its involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya.
attack came just over a year after three men were arrested on suspicion
of having links to al Qaeda and planning to attack targets in Norway.
It came also less than three months after U.S. forces killed Osama bin
Laden in a raid on his hideout in Pakistan.
Reuters witness said he had seen soldiers taking up positions around
central Oslo, while police said they feared there might be explosives at
the youth camp.
Violence or the
threat of it has already come to the other Nordic states: a botched bomb
attack took place in the Swedish capital Stockholm last December and
the bomber was killed.
received repeated threats after a newspaper published cartoons of the
Prophet Mohammad in late 2005, angering Muslims worldwide.
Oslo blast tore at the facade of the 17-storey central government
building, blowing out most of the windows and scattering shards of metal
and other debris for hundreds of meters (yards).
building of a publisher which recently put out a translation of a
Danish book on the Mohammad cartoon controversy was also affected, but
was apparently not the target.
blast scattered debris across the streets and shook the entire city
center at around 3:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT). A Reuters witness saw eight
people injured, one covered in a sheet and apparently dead.
MOST VIOLENT "SINCE WORLD WAR TWO"
Reuters correspondent said the streets had been fairly quiet in
mid-afternoon on a Friday in high summer, when many Oslo residents take
vacation or leave for weekend breaks.
is a terror attack. It is the most violent event to strike Norway since
World War Two," said Geir Bekkevold, an opposition parliamentarian for
the Christian Peoples Party.
The district attacked is the very heart of power in Norway, with several other key administration buildings nearby.
ministries were also hit by the blast, including the oil ministry,
which was on fire. Nevertheless, security is not tight given the lack of
violence in the past.
December attack in Stockholm was by a Muslim man who grew up in Sweden
but said he had been angered by Sweden's involvement in the NATO-led
force in Afghanistan and the Prophet Mohammad cartoons.
attack was followed weeks later by the arrest in Denmark of five men
for allegedly planning to attack the newspaper which first ran the
In July 2010,
Norwegian police arrested three men for an alleged plot to organize at
least one attack on Norwegian targets and said they were linked to
individuals investigated in the United States and Britain.
Drake, senior risk consultant at London-based consultancy AKE, said:
"It may not be too dissimilar to the terrorist attack in Stockholm in
December which saw a car bomb and secondary explosion shortly after in
the downtown area.
"That attack was later claimed as a reprisal for Sweden's contribution to the efforts in Afghanistan."
violence is virtually unknown in a country known for awarding the Nobel
Peace Prize and mediating in conflicts, including in the Middle East
and Sri Lanka.