Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norway shooting, bomb attack kills 91

Smoke is seen billowing from a damaged building, with debris strewn across the street in the aftermath of an explosion in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on July 22, 2011.

Source: Press TV

At least 91 people have been killed and scores injured in the twin shooting and bomb attacks in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, and a nearby island.

"We have confirmation that at least 84 people are dead. We do not exclude a higher toll," said Are Frykholm, a Norwegian police spokesman, in reference to Friday's killings at a youth camp on the island of Utoeya, AFP reported.

A man dressed as a police officer opened fire at the youth meeting of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's ruling Labor Party in Utoeya island, south of Oslo, and went on a shooting spree.

Seven others lost their lives in the powerful bomb blast in central Oslo, where the premier's office and several government buildings are located.

Security was meanwhile tightened across potential target sites in the Norwegian capital, police said on Saturday.

The Norwegian prime minister pointed out that the culprits would not intimidate one of Europe's most peaceful countries.

"People have lived through a nightmare that very few of us can imagine," he noted.

"The coming days will show who is responsible and what kind of punishment they will get,” he went on to say.

"The message to whoever attacked us, the message from all of Norway is that you will not destroy us, you will not destroy our democracy and our ideals for a better world," he added.

Earlier reports said that at least ten people died in the island while seven perished in the bombing in central Oslo.

According to reports, Stoltenberg's office and other buildings were heavily damaged in the blast, while sidewalks were covered in broken glass as smoke rose above the wreckage.

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

They believe the explosion and shooting are linked. A 32-year-old person has been arrested over Utoeya shooting and counter terrorism forces have been dispatched to the scene.

The attacks were the worst in western Europe since the 2004 train bombings in the Spanish capital of Madrid, which claimed the lives of 191 people and left nearly 2,000 others wounded.

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