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A damaged ambulance is seen parked after an incident in the centre of Oslo, Stian Lysberg Solum via PA

Armed man arrested after stealing ambulance and driving into bystanders in Oslo

A child who was in a pram was injured in the incident.

LAST UPDATE | 22 Oct 2019

NORWEGIAN POLICE HAVE arrested an armed man who stole an ambulance in Oslo and ran down and slightly injured four pedestrians, including twin babies.

Police said they were searching for a second suspect – a woman described as having fair skin, brown hair and wearing a black jacket, around 5’4″ tall and “who appears to be under the influence”.

“We have no information for now indicating that this is terror-related,” Oslo police wrote on Twitter.

“What was the purpose? What was the motive? We cannot answer this at such an early stage of the investigation,” senior Oslo police officer Grete Lien Metlid said at a press conference.

Police confirmed they had also arrested a woman linked to the male suspect accused of attempted murder.

Prior to the rampage, the pair – who both have criminal records – had been involved in another accident, during which their vehicle overturned. 

 Earlier, police said they had “taken control of an ambulance that was stolen by an armed man”. Police officers had fired shots to arrest the suspect, who was not seriously injured.

“A woman with a pram and an elderly couple were run over or had to throw themselves out of the way” of the stolen vehicle, police said in another Twitter post, adding that the woman and a child were taken to hospital.

Oslo University Hospital said seven-month-old twins were involved in the incident.

“Fortunately we can now confirm that the two twins… are considered to have minor injuries,” the Oslo University Hospital said in a Twitter post.

Television images showed a damaged pram lying by the roadside, and an upturned traffic sign.

The man also fired a gun from behind the wheel of the ambulance at the officers dispatched to stop him.

Attacks by right wing extremists

Witnesses cited by public broadcaster NRK said police shot at the tyres of the ambulance and the driver fired back, which police have not confirmed. Pursued by police, the ambulance then crashed into a gate outside a residential building.

Television images showed a heavily damaged Mercedes ambulance with what appeared to be several bullet holes in the front left door.

According to media reports, the armed man hijacked the ambulance after the vehicle he and the woman were in overturned in an accident.

Police said they had seized two weapons at the scene.

The incident took place in a residential neighbourhood in northern Oslo. Students at a nearby school and daycare centre were ordered to remain indoors.

A large number of police officers, some of them heavily armed, were deployed at the scene, and a helicopter hovered overhead for a while.

The suspect’s motive was not immediately known, police said.

Norway has experienced several terrorist attacks by right wing extremists, including the July 2011 twin attacks by Anders Behring Breivik that left 77 people dead.

There have, however, been no attacks carried out by Islamist extremists on Norwegian soil. 

© – AFP, 2019

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