Friday, July 22, 2011

Norway blast kills 7, rocks PM office

Smoke is seen billowing from a damaged building as debris is strewn across the street after an explosion in Oslo, Norway, July 22, 2011.

Source: Press TV

A heavy explosion has rocked government headquarters in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, killing Seven people and leaving at least 15 others injured.

The blast has caused damage to the prime minister's office and a number of other government buildings. Reports say the blast blew out most of windows of the premier's office.

According to local reports, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was not in his office at the time of the explosion.

The headquarters of tabloid newspaper VG had also been damaged.

Public radio NRK reported that the explosion seemed to have taken place near the finance ministry, which is near the Norwegian prime minister's office and the VG editorial offices.

Officials said some people were still inside the damaged buildings and that the number of casualties is expected to rise.

Police say the powerful explosion was caused by a bomb. Security officials have evacuated people from the area and the army have taken up positions in central Oslo, fearing another blast.

Meanwhile, a man dressed as a police officer opened fire at a youth meeting of the ruling Labor Party in Utoeya island, south of Oslo, killing at least four people, state television NRK reported. Several people were also injured in the shooting.

Police believe the explosion and shooting are linked. One person has been arrested over Utoeya shooting and counter terrorism forces have been dispatched to the scene.

Prime Minister Stoltenberg was due to attend the meeting.

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