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Norway victim's father recounts last words

The names of some of the victims of the attacks in Oslo and Utoya have been released today.

A man places a Norwegian flag between flowers in Utvika in front of Utoya island
A man places a Norwegian flag between flowers in Utvika in front of Utoya island
Image: AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop

THE FATHER OF the first victims of the first victims of the Norway massacre to be named by police said his son was full of love for people and for the outdoors — and the young man’s last words to him were “Dad, someone is shooting.”

Norwegian police began releasing the names of those killed in last week’s bomb blast and massacre at a Labor Party youth camp, an announcement likely to bring new collective grief to an already reeling nation.

Police named the first four of at least 76 people dead. Although only names, ages and hometowns were listed, it will likely bring another shock to friends and acquaintances just learning the names of the victims.

A 32-year-old Norwegian man has confessed to the attacks, claiming he was trying to save Europe from what he says is Muslim colonization.

The first release listed three who were killed in a bomb blast in Oslo’s government quarter and one dead after the rampage at a Labor Party youth camp. They were Gunnar Linaker, 23, from Bardu in northern Norway, who was a victim of the camp massacre; and Oslo residents Tove Aashill Knutsen, 56; Hanna M. Orvik Endresen, 61; and Kai Hauge, 33.

Gunnar Linaker

Linaker’s father told The Associated Press by telephone that Gunnar was “a calm, big teddy bear with lots of humor and lots of love.”

His voice weak and trembling, Linaker said he had been on the phone with his son concerning another matter when the shooting started. “He said to me: ‘Dad, dad, someone is shooting,’ and then he hung up.”

That was the last he heard from his son. Gunnar Linaker was among the wounded and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died on Saturday. His 17-year-old sister also was at the camp, but somehow survived the slaughter, he said.

Clearly still very much in shock, he declined to speak any further.

Tove Aashill Knutsen

Knutsen, a secretary at the union for electricians and IT workers, had left the office for the day and was on her way to a subway station when the bomb exploded in the government quarter, union head Hans Felix said.

Normally Knutsen would go to and from work on her bicycle, but earlier that day she had left it at a repair shop.

“It wasn’t finished, so this day she had to take the subway home. Tove never got home,” Felix said in a statement. “Tove was a happy girl who was well liked by us all, and it feels unreal that she is no longer with us.”

30 names

Earlier today, the national newspaper Dagbladet posted the names and photos of 30 people it said were killed in the attacks or missing. The information, apparently received from friends or relatives, showed three victims who did not appear to be ethnic Norwegians — examples of the multiethnic Norway that the alleged bomber and gunman says he despised.

Among them was dreadlocked 19-year-old Ismail Haji Ahmed, whom the newspaper said had recently appeared on the Noway’s Got Talent television show. Another, reported as missing, was a 20-year-old native of Iraq, Jamil Rafal Yasin.

The lawyer for Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed to the massacre, has said his client was likely insane. He called him cold, and said he saw himself as a warrior and savior of the Western world.

Breivik has confessed to last week’s bombing and rampage, but he has pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges he faces.

He apparently saw the governing Labor Party as leading Norway into deterioration, particularly through its policies of ethnic tolerance. The young Linaker was on the other end of the spectrum, a devoted party member.

His father said he had even taken leave from his political-science studies at the university in Tromsoe in order to work full-time in politics and was a regional secretary of the party’s youth wing, which hold the camp on Utoya every summer.

“He had been to Utoya many, many times, four or five years,” his father said.

Breivik’s brutal assault has stunned peaceful, liberal Norway — but also appears to have brought its citizens together. About 150,000 people filled the streets of Oslo on Monday, laying roses feet deep in the street as they mourned the dead and vowed thar Norway’s commitment to democracy could not be shaken.

Read more: Norway’s terror case indicates Breivik is ‘insane’ says lawyer>

- AP

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