UTOYA ISLAND, Oslow, Norway: Gunman Kills Several People At Labour Youth Children’s Camp: UPDATED

22 Jul

Debris is seen on the street after a powerful explosion rocked central OsloView Gallery

MOST RECENT NEWS UPDATE: AT LEAST; 20 to 25 REPORTED DEAD AT YOUTH CAMP:

NEWS UPDATE:

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Oslo police say they suspect the man arrested after a shooting at a youth camp is also linked to a bombing in Oslo.

Acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim won’t give any details about the man, who was dressed in a police uniform when he opened fire Friday.

He said police were still trying to get an overview of the shooting at the Utoya youth camp and could not say whether there was more than one shooter.

At least seven people were killed earlier in a bombing in Oslo.

———-

OSLO, Norway (AP) — An eyewitness tells Norwegian broadcaster NRK that he saw 20 to 25 bodies at the youth camp where a gunman dressed in a police uniform opened fire.

Andre Scheie says he saw bodies on the shore of the Utoya island where the youth wing of the Labor Party was holding a summer camp for hundreds of youths.

Scheie said Friday: “There are very many dead by the shore … there are about 20-25 dead.” He also said he saw dead people in the water.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has urged Norwegians to not cave in to fear caused by a bombing in downtown Oslo that killed seven people and a shooting at a youth camp outside the capital.

Stoltenberg told Norwegian broadcaster NRK: “Co-workers have lost their lives today … “it’s frightening. That’s not how we want things in our country. But it’s important that we don’t let ourselves be scared. Because the purpose of that kind of violence is to create fear.”

He says he’s received unconfirmed reports of dead and injured at the camp shooting but that details were still sketchy.

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Debris is seen on the street after a powerful explosion rocked central Oslo

Norwegian police have said that an explosion in Oslo this afternoon was caused by a bomb, and has led to “deaths and injuries” – while there are reports that shots have been fired at a nearby children’s camp.

Police said there were “one or more powerful explosions in the government building in Oslo”.

There are reports that some shots have been fired and several people killed at a youth meeting of the ruling Labour Party in Utoya, an island on the outskirts near the capital.

As many as 700 people were believed to be taking part in the summer camp – most of whom were teenagers aged between 14 and 18.

There are reports that a person dressed as a police officer opened fire on the island.

Police said that Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was due to attend the event.

Anti-terror officers have been sent to investigate the incident.

Police have told people in the Norwegian capital to stay away from the city centre and limit the use of mobile phones. 

They also warned people to avoid large gatherings.

A government minister has said that some people are trapped at the bomb site.

Sky sources said that survivors reported a strong smell of sulphur which has led to police investigating the theory this was a car bomb using fertiliser nitrate.

Sam Kiley said that earlier this year, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released a bomb-making handbook which contained notes on how to build fertiliser bombs.

“The knowhow is out there and the materials are out there,” he said.

And he added that if it was a fertiliser car bomb, it would have been very damaging.

“You could get a ton of relatively high explosive concentrated in a metal box – what you have is a gigantic grenade.”

The explosion was thought to be outside the building that housed the offices of the Prime Minister.

He was not thought to have been in his office at the time, and was reported to be safe.

It was also thought to be near Norway’s biggest tabloid newspaper.

Mr Stoltenberg described the situation as “very serious” but said it was too soon to say what caused the explosion.

Craig Barnes is in Oslo and said that he was shocked at what has happened.

“It is a very nice, safe place to live.

“Norwegians are very friendly and I think everyone gets on.

“I think this is going to change a lot of views now. There will be questions regarding safety.”

 Nearby offices in the Norwegian capital were evacuated.

Large amounts of glass and metal were seen in the street.

Police and fire officials have declined to comment on the cause of the explosion.

The wreckage of a car was seen outside one building and there was early speculation that the damage was consistent with that from a car bomb.

 Nato member Norway has been the target of threats in the past – particularly for its involvement in Afghanistan and Libya.

The country has also experienced problems with several home-grown terror plots linked to al Qaeda.

Last week, a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he was deported.

The Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, posted a message on Twitter about the bombs.

“Terrorism has struck. Police confirms bomb in Oslo. We are all Norwegians.”

 NEWS UPDATE:

People are treated at the scene after an explosion in Oslo, Norway, Friday July 22, 2011. A loud explosion shattered windows Friday at the government headquarters in Oslo which includes the prime minister's office, injuring several people. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is safe, government spokeswoman Camilla Ryste told The Associated Press. (AP PHOTO / Holm Morten, Scanpix) NORWAY OUT

People are treated at the scene after an explosion in Oslo, Norway, Friday July 22, …

In this video image taken from television, smoke is seen billowing from a damaged building as debris is strewn across the street after an explosion in Oslo, Norway Friday July 22, 2011. A loud explosion shattered windows Friday at the government headquarters in Oslo which includes the prime minister's office, injuring several people. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is safe, government spokeswoman Camilla Ryste told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/TV2 NORWAY via APTN) NORWAY OUT

In this video image taken from television, smoke is seen billowing from a damaged …

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Police say seven people have been confirmed dead following a bomb blast outside the prime minister’s office in Oslo.

Acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told broadcaster NRK that investigators suspect the bombing was linked to a shooting spree at the Labor Party’s youth camp later Friday by a gunman in a police uniform.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Terrorism ravaged long-peaceful Norway on Friday when a bomb ripped open buildings including the prime minister’s office and a man dressed as a police officer opened fire at a nearby island youth camp. At least two people were killed and 15 injured in the bomb blast, the nation’s worst attack since World War II.

A square in Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, was covered in twisted metal, shattered glass and documents expelled from surrounding buildings, which house government offices and the headquarters of some of Norway’s leading newspapers. Most of the windows in the 20-floor high-rise where Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his administration work were shattered.

Stoltenberg was working at home Friday and was unharmed, according to senior adviser Oivind Ostang.

The death toll was expected to rise; police spokesman Thor Langli said there were dead people left in the buildings, though he didn’t know how many.

Public broadcaster NRK showed video of a blackened car lying on its side amid the debris. An AP reporter who was in the office of Norwegian news agency NTB said the building shook from the blast and all employees were evacuated. Down in the street, he saw one person with a bleeding leg being led away from the area.

Oslo police said the explosion was caused by “one or more” bombs, but declined to speculate on who was behind the attack. They later sealed off the nearby offices of broadcaster TV 2 after discovering a suspicious package.

At Utoya, an island outside Oslo, a gunman dressed in a police uniform opened fire at a Labor Party youth camp, shooting several youths, party spokesman Per Gunnar Dahl told The Associated Press.

“There has been an incident where a man dressed in a police uniform started shooting among the youngsters on the island. This created a panic situation where people started to swim from the island” to escape, he said. Dahl said unconfirmed reports said five people were hit.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the two attacks were related.

The explosion occurred at 3:30 p.m. (1330 GMT), as Ole Tommy Pedersen stood at a bus stop 100 meters (yards) away.

“I saw three or four injured people being carried out of the building a few minutes later,” Pedersen told AP.

The attacks come as Norway grapples with a homegrown terror plot linked to al-Qaida. Two suspects are in jail awaiting charges.

Last week, a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he is deported from the Scandinavian country. The indictment centered on statements that Mullah Krekar — the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam — made to various news media, including American network NBC.

Terrorism has also been a concern in neighboring Denmark since an uproar over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad six years ago. Danish authorities say they have foiled several terror plots linked to the 2005 newspaper cartoons that triggered protests in Muslim countries. Last month, a Danish appeals court on Wednesday sentenced a Somali man to 10 years in prison for breaking into the home of the cartoonist.

___

Associated Press writer Louise Nordstrom contributed to this report

NEWS UPDATE:

Click to play

Eyewitness Ingunn Anderson says she saw injured people lying on the ground

Norway Attacks

Oslo bomb Live

Eyewitnesses: ‘Total chaos’

In pictures: Bomb aftermath

End of innocence?

A massive bomb blast has hit government buildings in the Norwegian capital Oslo, killing at least seven people and injuring several others.

PM Jens Stoltenberg described the situation as “very serious”.

The bomb was followed by a fatal shooting incident near Oslo at a youth meeting of the Labour Party, which Mr Stoltenberg leads.

Norwegian media said at least four people were killed when a man opened fire indiscriminately.

Police said the suspected gunman had been arrested, TV2 reported.

No group has said they carried out the attacks but police say they believe them to be linked.

Hours after the bomb struck Oslo, officials said some people were still inside the damaged buildings, some of which were on fire.

Television footage from the government quarter showed rubble and glass from shattered windows in the streets and smoke from the fires drifting across the city. The wreckage of at least one car could be seen. 

Smoke in downtown Oslo
 
All roads into the city centre have been closed, said national broadcaster NRK, and security officials evacuated people from the area, fearing another blast.

Mr Stoltenberg, in a telephone call to Norwegian television, said all government ministers were safe.

He said he had been advised by police not to reveal his current location, but is not thought to have been in central Oslo on Friday.

“Even if one is well prepared, it is always rather dramatic when something like this happens,” he said.

Egil Vrekke, Assistant Chief Constable of Oslo police told the BBC the rescue operation 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 spokesman for Oslo University hospital said 10 people had been taken there for treatment, some with serious injuries.

A few hours after the explosion, reports emerged of the shooting at a Labour Party youth camp in Utoeya, an island outside the capital.

TV2 said at least four people had been killed and several injured – there were reports a gunman was wearing a police uniform.

“This created a panic situation where people started to swim from the island” said Labour Party spokesman Per Gunnar Dahl.

Mr Stoltenberg, who had been due to visit the camp on Saturday, told TV2 the situation in Utoeya was critical.

‘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.

Click to play

Assistant Chief Constable Egil Vrekke: “There are a lot of casualties”

“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.”

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.

“This is a very busy area on Friday afternoon and there were a lot of people in the streets, and many people working in these buildings that are now burning,” he said.

Local resident Silvio told the BBC the blast shook everything in his apartment and that he saw several unconscious people in the street.

“If they were dead or not I wouldn’t be able to tell you but they were receiving assistance at the time.”

Mr Mjarum said people across Oslo and Norway were in shock.

“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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One Response to “UTOYA ISLAND, Oslow, Norway: Gunman Kills Several People At Labour Youth Children’s Camp: UPDATED”

  1. Michael Imbriani 1JulyJ2011 at 5:22 pm #

    My family wants to let the people and the victims of the Norway tragedy know that our thoughts and prayers are with them. May God bless you all.

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