Norway attacks: Details emerge about Utoya camp shooting
Police confirmed the connection between today's deadly camp shooting and Oslo bombing. Norwegian Prime Minister said 'no one will bomb us to silence.'
Stockholm and Berlin
Norwegian Police confirmed the massive bombing in downtown Oslo this afternoon is linked to a shooting at a political youth camp west of the capital, though authorities declined to speculate on who was behind the attacks or what their motives might have been.Skip to next paragraph
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Police arrested the gunman who opened fire about 5 p.m. on campers, killing at least 10. “We can confirm that a person is arrested, and we believe that he has had dealings with both events,” said Sveinung Sponheim, Norway's national police chief.
Knut Storberget, the country’s justice minister, said police were still investigating the man’s background but confirmed that he was a Norwegian national.
Norwegian Radio cited a witness who said the gunman spoke Norwegian and described him as tall and blonde. Mr. Storberget said it was unclear if the man was acting alone.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg remained defiant in the face of the attacks and said any guilty parties would be brought to justice.
“We will find the guilty and hold them responsible," he said at the press conference. “No one will bomb us to silence. No one will shoot us to silence. No one will ever scare us away from being Norway.”
Both events are likely to prompt soul-searching in Norway, and many citizens are likely to suspect Islamic militants, says Iver Neumann, a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).
“Norwegian forces are currently involved in two wars, Afghanistan and Libya. Parts of the Norwegian media participated in the Danish caricature campaign [of the prophet Muhammad] in 2005. We know that Al Qaeda has put Norway on a list of potential targets,” says Mr. Neumann. “There will certainly be a debate about Norway’s relationship with Islam. And there will be a debate about the level of security we afford to our leaders.”
Norwegians are in a state of shock after a powerful explosion in Oslo’s government quarter. Police have confirmed that seven people are dead and more than a dozen were injured in the attack, which damaged the prime minister’s office and the oil ministry.
Prime Minister Stoltenberg was not near the site of the blast and was unharmed.
The shooting took place about an hour later on the island of Utoya, where news reports said a man disguised as a police officer fired upon campers. The governing Norwegian Labor party organized the camp and the prime minister was expected to visit the camp on Saturday.
Roughly 550 youths were attending the camp and witnesses called the scene chaotic after the shooting. Several camp-goers fled into the woods in a panic while others dove into the lake in which the island sits and attempted to swim to shore.
In Oslo, Reuters described seeing a burned, mangled car parked near one of the buildings. Police cordoned off a large swath of central Oslo and are asking people to stay clear of the area and to limit their use of cell phones.