السبت، 23 يوليو، 2011

Twin terror attacks shock Norway

Eyewitness Ingunn Anderson says she saw many injured people
Norway has been hit by twin attacks - a massive bomb blast in the capital and a shooting attack on young people at a governing Labour Party youth camp.
At least seven people were killed in the bombing, which inflicted huge damage on government buildings in Oslo.
At least 10 more died at the camp, on an island outside Oslo, police say. One witness said he had seen 20 bodies.
The suspected gunman was arrested at the camp and the government have confirmed that he is Norwegian.
Police have said that he is also linked with the bomb attack. Reports described him as tall and blond.

Analysis

The prime minister and justice minister have declined to speculate on a motive behind the attack but police are saying that they believe the car bomb and the shooting are linked and that they have a suspect in custody from Utoeya.
The ministers are confirming he is Norwegian. During the day, after an initial focus on an al-Qaeda link, the possibility of domestic extremism increasingly came into focus.
The choice of targets - government buildings and a political youth rally - suggested a possible political agenda rather than the mass casualty approach typically employed by al-Qaeda.
Constructing a large car bomb requires a degree of sophistication and the crucial factor for the police will be establishing how many people are behind this attack, whether any are still at large and to whom they might be connected.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, whose Oslo offices were among those damaged by the bomb, described the attacks as "bloody and cowardly" in a news conference.
He said that Norway had been "shaken by evil" but that Norwegian democracy and ideals would not be destroyed.
"We are a small nation and a proud nation. No-one will bomb us to silence no-one will shoot us to silence," he said.
Norwegian media reports said the shootings at the island, on the Tyrifjorden lake, were carried out by a man in police uniform.
Several people from the island camp are still missing, government officials said. Police also confirmed that undetonated explosives were found on the island.
No group has said it carried out the attacks.
Car wreckage
In Oslo, rubble and glass from shattered windows littered the streets and smoke from the fires drifting across the city could be seen in television footage from the devastated government quarter.
Hours after the bomb struck, officials said some people were still inside the damaged buildings, some of which were on fire.
Norway's prime minister Jens Stoltenberg: 'No one will bomb us into silence'
All roads into the city centre have been closed, said national broadcaster NRK, as security officials evacuated people from the area, fearing another blast.
Government officials urged people to stay at home and avoid central areas of Oslo.
Earlier Egil Vrekke, Assistant Chief Constable of Oslo police told the BBC the rescue operation in Oslo was ongoing.
"We are issuing warnings just [to] make sure people are not in the area in case there are further explosions," he told the BBC.
"We have cordoned off large areas. There are bomb experts at the scene investigating whether there are other devices in the area."
A few hours after the explosion, a gunman opened fire at a camp in Utoeya for young members of the Labour Party.
NRK journalist Ole Torp said there were reports the gunman had 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," he told the BBC.
Smoke in downtown Oslo
"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."
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."
'Focus on rescue'
State Secretary Kristian Amundsen said Friday was a public holiday in Norway so the government offices were not as busy as they might usually have been.
"But there are many hundreds of people in these buildings every day," he told the BBC.
"We have to focus on the rescue operation - there are still people in the building, there are still people in the hospital."
Journalist Hanne Taalesen on island attack: "There are reports that youths hid in bushes"
Reuters said the oil ministry was among the other government buildings hit, while NRK journalist Ingunn Andersen said the headquarters of tabloid newspaper VG were also damaged.
"It's complete chaos here. The windows are blown out in all the buildings close by," she told AP.
Oistein Mjarum, head of communications for the Norwegian Red Cross, which has offices nearby, said the blast could be heard across Oslo.
"We have never had a terrorist attack like this in Norway - if that's what it is - but of course this has been a great fear for all Norwegians when they have seen what has been happening around the world."
The United States has condemned the "despicable acts of violence" in Oslo, while the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said he was "deeply shocked" by "these acts of cowardice for which there is no justification".

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