At least 84 people died when a gunman, Anders Behring Breivik (32) opened fire at an island youth camp in Norway, hours after a bomb attack on the capital, Oslo, police say.The man was arrested on tiny Utoeya island outside Oslo, where police say he opened fire on teenagers.The Oslo bombing killed at least seven. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said civil servants were among the dead.Mr Stoltenberg, whose offices were among those badly hit by the blast, described the attacks as "a national tragedy".The attacks were "like a nightmare" for Norway, he told a news conference in Oslo: "Never since the Second World War has our country been hit by a crime on this scale."He added that he was due to have been on Utoeya - "a youth paradise turned into a hell" - a few hours after the attacks began.
Mr Stoltenberg said he knew some of the dead in the Oslo attack. "Beyond that I cannot give further details while the police carry out their investigation."He said it was too early too comment on a possible motive for the attacks. No group has said it carried them out.The suspect is reported by local media to have had links with right-wing extremists. The authorities have named him as Anders Behring Breivik. His Oslo apartment was searched overnight.The BBC's Richard Galpin, near the island, says that Norway has had problems with neo-Nazi groups in the past but the assumption was that such groups had been largely eliminated and did not pose a significant threat.The authorities are still not sure whether the attacks were the work of just one man.'Posed as policeman'
Earlier, the number of dead from the island shooting spree, which is among the world's most deadly, was put at 10. Hundreds of young people were attending the summer camp organised by the ruling Labour Party on Utoeya island.Eyewitnesses described how a tall, blond man dressed as a policeman opened fire indiscriminately, prompting camp attendees to jump into the water to try and escape the hail of bullets. Some of the teenagers were shot at as they tried to swim to safety.Armed police were deployed to the island but details of the operation to capture the suspect remain unclear.Police say they discovered many more victims after searching the area around the island."It goes without saying that this gives dimensions to this incident that are exceptional," police director Oystein Maeland is quoted as saying by the Associated Press (AP) news agency.Police warned the death toll may rise further as rescue teams continued to scour the waters around the island.The gunman is reported to have been armed with a handgun, an automatic weapon and a shotgun."He travelled on the ferry boat from the mainland over to that little inland island posing as a police officer, saying he was there to do research in connection with the bomb blasts," NRK journalist Ole Torp told the BBC."He asked people to gather round and then he started shooting, so these young people fled into the bushes and woods and some even swam off the island to get to safety."One 15-year-old eyewitness described how she saw what she thought was a police officer open fire.
"He first shot people on the island. Afterward he started shooting people in the water," youth camp delegate Elise told AP.Mr Stoltenberg had been due to visit the camp on Saturday. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who visited the camp on Thursday, praised those who were attending."The country has no finer youth than young people who go for a summer camp doing politics, doing discussions, doing training, doing football, and then they experience this absolutely horrendous act of violence," he said.
'Despicable violence'In Oslo, government officials urged people to stay at home and avoid central areas of the city.Shards of twisted metal, rubble and glass littered the streets of central Oslo left devastated by Friday's enormous explosion.Windows in the buildings of the government quarter were shattered and witnesses described how smoke filled the atmosphere around the blast site.There are also concerns that more victims may still be inside buildings hit by the initial massive explosion.Emergency services have had difficulty accessing these buildings amid concerns about further possible explosions as well as fears the blast may have left buildings unstable.
In: World News, Politics
Tags: norway, oslo, utoya, shooting, terror, attack, bombings, 2011
Location: Norway (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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