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A victim is treated for injuries sustained in yesterday's bomb attack in Oslo.
A victim is treated for injuries sustained in yesterday's bomb attack in Oslo.
Image: AP Photo/Fartein Rudjord

Over 80 killed in Norway’s Utoya shooting as investigation turns to second suspect

Investigation into gun and bomb attacks continue as authorities search for more possible victims on the island.
Jul 23rd 2011, 1:14 PM 7,683 51

Updated at 15:00

THE DEATH TOLL from yesterday’s shooting attack at a youth political event on the Norwegian island of Utoya has risen to 85, as the search for more victims continues. It is not clear how many people were on the island at the time of the attack.

A Norwegian man dressed as a police officer shot indiscriminately at those on the island, according to eyewitnesses to what was the worst attack in Norway since World War II.

Norwegian police said today that the gunman may have had 30 minutes to carry out his shooting spree before a SWAT team arrived on the island. They are now investigating reports that a second person was involved in the attack.

Norway’s NTB reported today that witnesses told police that a second person took part in the shooting, but that only one was dressed as a police officer.

Arrests

One man, whom authorities say has never been a police employee, is under arrest and has been charged on suspicion of the shootings and the bomb attack outside government offices in Oslo which killed at least seven people. Norwegian national broadcaster NRK has identified the suspect as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik.

Police official Roger Andresen said that the overall death toll from the two attacks had reached 91 this morning and another death was confirmed later this afternoon.

Andresen also said that the suspect was cooperating with police and “is clear on the point that he wants to explain himself”.

Separately, a police official speaking on conditional of anonymity said that  automatic weapons and handguns were used in Utoya and an unexploded device was discovered at the camp. The attacks do not appear to be linked to any international terrorist organisations, the official added.

The suspect is also reported to have posted messages on websites with Christian fundamentalist tendencies, but police say he was not on their radar and “just came out of nowhere”. He was wearing a sweater with a police emblem on it when arrested.

A second man, 20, was arrested today outside the hotel where Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was visiting. The man said he was carrying a knife because he felt unsafe and claimed to be a member of the Labour youth movement. His arrest is not currently thought to be directly linked to the attacks.

A man is taken away by police who said that he had been carrying a knife, shortly after Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg arrived at a hotel in Sundvolden, Norway, today to meet survivors of a shooting at an island youth retreat. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

“Transformed into Hell”

Prime Minister Stoltenberg said today that he had spent many childhood summers on Utoya, saying that his “childhood paradise island” was yesterday “transformed into Hell”. Stoltenberg travelled to the area today to meet with survivors of the attack and said he personally knew some of the victims of the Oslo bombing.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Stoltenberg said it was too soon to gauge how the attacks would influence Norwegian society. He said young people have the right to hold controversial opinions and to participate in politics without being afraid. “I will do what I can do for succeeding in that task,” he said.

Norway’s royal family also met with the families of the victims of the attacks today.

One of the island campers Elise, 15, said she had heard gunshots and thought she was safe when she saw a policeman, but then saw him shooting people in front of her. Some people tried to escape by swimming away:

I saw many dead people. He first shot people on the island. Afterwards he started shooting people in the water.

Another survivor, 21-year-old Dana Berzingi, said that people pretended they were dead in an attempt to survive. However, the gunman shot them in the head with a shotgun.

“I lost several friends,” Berzingi said.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read more on the attacks:

Norway attacks suspect “came out of nowhere” >

One arrested on Norwegian island following shootings >

‘No confirmation’ of terrorist motive: Norwegian PM >

Watch: First videos of explosion aftermath in Oslo>

In pictures: Explosion hits Oslo>

How news of the Oslo bombings unfolded on Twitter>

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Susan Ryan

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