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World Bomb Kills 7 & a Gunman Kills 90 at Youth Camp in Oslo, Norway

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    July 22, 2011

    Bomb kills 2 in Oslo, gunman wounds 5 at camp
    July 22, 2011 - 12:53pm EDT
    By Walter Gibbs and Alister Doyle

    [​IMG]

    OSLO (Reuters) - A bomb devastated the main government building in Norway's capital Oslo Friday, killing two people, and a gunman wounded five people hours later in a shooting at a youth camp, state media reported.

    Though the bomb attack was on the very heart of power in the small Nordic state, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was safe. There was no claim of responsibility.

    "This is very serious," Stoltenberg told Norwegian TV2 television in a phone call. He added it was too early to say if the blast was a terrorist attack. He said that police had advised him not to say where he was speaking from.

    "Even though we have prepared for this type of situation, it is fairly dramatic when it happens," he added.

    As he spoke, reports in local media came through of a shooting incident at Utoeya, an island south of Oslo where Stoltenberg's Labor party youth section's yearly gathering was taking place.

    Daily newspaper VG said on its website a man dressed as a policeman was shooting wildly and had hit many people.

    It was not clear whether or how the incidents were linked.

    NATO member Norway has been the target of threats, if not bombs, before, notably over its involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya.

    The 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 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.

    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.

    Denmark has received repeated threats after a newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in late 2005, angering Muslims worldwide.

    The 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 metres (yards).

    The 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.

    NRK state radio said at least two people were killed while news agency NTB quoted a police chief as confirming it was a bomb.

    A Reuters reporter at the scene said the blast scattered debris across the streets and shook the entire city center around 3:30 p.m. (1330 GMT). He saw eight people injured, one covered in a sheet and apparently dead.

    The 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.

    The tangled wreckage of a car was outside one building. This, as well as the damage to the buildings, appeared to witnesses to be consistent with a car bomb.

    "This 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.

    "So far I can confirm that we have received seven people at Oslo University Hospital," a press officer at the clinic said.

    "I don't know how seriously wounded they are."

    The district attacked is the very heart of power in Norway, with several other key administration buildings nearby.

    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.

    CARTOONS

    The failed 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.

    That attack was followed weeks later by the arrest in Denmark of five men for allegedly planning to attack the newspaper which first ran the Mohammad cartoons.

    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.

    John 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."

    NATO member Norway has sometimes in the past been threatened by leaders of al Qaeda for its involvement in Afghanistan.

    It has also taken part in the NATO bombing of Libya, whose leader Muammar Gaddafi has threatened to strike back in Europe.

    Political 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.

    David Lea, Western Europe analyst at Control Risks, said: "There certainly aren't any domestic Norwegian terrorist groups although there have been some al Qaeda-linked arrests from time to time. They are in Afghanistan and were involved in Libya, but it's far too soon to draw any conclusions."

    (Additional reporting by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo, Peter Apps and William Maclean in London and Patrick Lannin in Stockholm; Writing by Alister Doyle; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

    source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/22/us-norway-blast-idUSTRE76L2VI20110722
     
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  3. Archived_Member16

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    Norway terror attacks toll 91, police question suspect

    AFP | Jul 23, 2011, 01.42pm IST

    OSLO: Police have questioned a blond 32-year-old suspect over twin attacks on a youth camp and the government headquarters that killed at least 91 people in Norway's deadliest tragedy since World War II.

    As harrowing testimony emerged from the holiday island where scores of youngsters were mown down by a gunman dressed as a policeman, Norway's prime minister said the country would emerge stronger from the "cruel act of violence".

    "Never since the Second World War has our country been hit by a crime on this scale," Jens Stoltenberg told journalists in an early morning press conference as police searched for more bodies on the idyllic Utoeya island.

    While there was no official confirmation of the suspect's identity, he was widely named by the local media as Anders Behring Breivik.

    Earlier the police confirmed 87 deaths, 80 in the camp shootout and 7 in the blast.

    "We have confirmation that at least 80 people are dead. We do not exclude a higher toll," said police spokesman Are Frykholm speaking of the shooting spree a summer school meeting of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's ruling Labour Party on Utoeya, an island outside the capital.

    Police had earlier confirmed that seven people were killed as a powerful bomb ripped through central Oslo -- where the prime minister's office and several government buildings are located -- and nine were critically injured.

    Prime Minister Stoltenberg said the culprits would not intimidate one of Europe's most peaceful countries.

    "People have lived through a nightmare that very few of us can imagine," he said. "The coming days will show who is responsible and what kind of punishment they will get.

    "The message to whoever attacked us, the message from all of Norway is that you will not destroy us, you will not destroy our democracy and our ideals for a better world."

    The United States and European leaders immediately denounced the attacks and vowed solidarity with NATO member Norway -- an enthusiastic participant in international military missions that has forces in Afghanistan and is participating in Western air strikes in Libya.

    Stoltenberg had been due to give a speech on Saturday to the 560 people attending the youth camp on the island.

    Witnesses described scenes of panic and horror after the gunman, who police said was disguised as a police officer but never worked for the police force, opened fire on the youth gathering.

    "I saw a lot of people running and screaming, I ran to the nearest building and hid under a bed," Emilie Bersaas, 19, told Britain's Sky News.

    "It is kind of unreal, especially in Norway... This is something we hear about happening in the US."

    Another young survivor, Jorgen Benone, said: "People were hiding behind stones. I saw people being shot... I felt it was best to stay quiet, not to run into the open.

    "I saw (the gunman) once just 20 to 30 metres away from me," Benone said, adding that he then swam to safety and was rescued by a boat.

    Norwegian police said they feared there could also be explosives on the island.

    Reports of the island shooting emerged shortly after a blast tore through the government quarter in central Oslo. Police said a "bomb" had been behind the "powerful explosion."

    "There are good reasons to believe that there is a link between the events," police commissioner Sveinung Sponheim told reporters in Oslo.

    Mayor Fabian Stang said the capital was struggling to come to terms with the idea that it had joined the list of cities targetted by bombers.

    "Today we think about those people living in New York and London who have experienced this kind of thing," he told Sky.

    "I do not think it is possible for us to understand what has happened today but hopefully we will be able to go on and that tomorrow Oslo will be a peaceful city again."

    The prime minister's office and other buildings were heavily damaged, while sidewalks were covered in broken glass as smoke rose above the wreckage.

    A police spokesman said a vehicle had been seen driving at high speed in the area just before the explosion but did not confirm that the blast had been caused by a car bomb.

    Police had sealed off the area and urged residents to stay in their homes.

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the EU condemned the attacks and the NATO chief denounced them as "heinous."

    US President Barack Obama called the attacks "a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring."

    Norway's intelligence police agency (PST) said in February that Islamic extremism was a major threat to the country, describing it as "our main priority and our main concern."

    Norway, which counts some 500 troops in Afghanistan, has never suffered an attack at home by Islamic extremists.

    The Norwegian capital is also a well-known symbol of international peace efforts, home to the Nobel Peace Prize and the birthplace of the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Accords.

    source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...lice-question-suspect/articleshow/9332461.cms
     
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