Norway horror: 80 die in camp shooting, 7 in blast
By NILS MYKLEBOST, APOSLO, Norway — A homegrown terrorist set off a deadly explosion in downtown Oslo before heading to a summer camp dressed as a police officer to commit one of the deadliest shooting sprees in history, killing at least 80 people as terrified youths ran and even swam for their lives, police said Friday.
Police initially said about 10 were killed at the forested camp on the island of Utoya, but some survivors said they thought the toll was much higher. Police director Oystein Maeland told reporters early Saturday they had discovered many more victims.
"It's taken time to search the area. What we know now is that we can say that there are at least 80 killed at Utoya," Maeland said. "It goes without saying that this gives dimensions to this incident that are exceptional."
A suspect in the shootings, and the Oslo explosion that killed seven people, was arrested.
A police official said the suspect appears to have acted alone in both attacks, and that "it seems like that this is not linked to any international terrorist organizations at all." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that information had not been officially released by Norway's police.
The official added, however, "it's still just hours since the incident happened. And the investigation is going on with all available resources."
The motive was unknown, but both attacks were in areas connected to the ruling Labor Party government. The youth camp, about 20 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of Oslo, is organized by the party's youth wing, and the prime minister had been scheduled to speak there Saturday.
The blast in Oslo, Norway's capital and the city where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, left a square covered in twisted metal, shattered glass and documents expelled from surrounding buildings. Most of the windows in the 20-floor high-rise where Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his administration work were shattered. Other buildings damaged house government offices and the headquarters of some of Norway's leading newspapers.
Police said the Oslo explosion was caused by "one or more" bombs.
The police official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Oslo bombing occurred at 3:26 p.m. local time (1:26 p.m. GMT), and the camp shootings began one to two hours later. The official said the gunman used both automatic weapons and handguns, and that there was at least one unexploded device at the youth camp that a police bomb disposal team and military experts were working on disarming.
National police chief Sveinung Sponheim said seven people were killed by the blast in downtown Oslo, four of whom have been identified, and that nine or 10 people were seriously injured.
Sponheim said a man was arrested in the shooting, and the suspect had been observed in Oslo before the explosion there.
Sponheim said the camp shooter "wore a sweater with a police sign on it. I can confirm that he wasn't a police employee and never has been."
Oslo University Hospital said 12 people were admitted for treatment following the Utoya shooting, and 11 people were taken there from the explosion in Oslo. The hospital asked people to donate blood.
Stoltenberg, who was home when the blast occurred and was not harmed, visited injured people at the hospital late Friday. Earlier he decried what he called "a cowardly attack on young innocent civilians."
"I have message to those who attacked us," he said. "It's a message from all of Norway: You will not destroy our democracy and our commitment to a better world."
The United States, European Union, NATO and the U.K., all quickly condemned the bombing, which Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague called "horrific" and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen deemed a "heinous act."
Nobel Peace Prize Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said it appeared the camp attack "was intended to hurt young citizens who actively engage in our democratic and political society. But we must not be intimidated. We need to work for freedom and democracy every day."
Associated Press reporters Bjoern H. Amland in Hoenefoss, Norway, Karl Ritter and Louise Nordstrom in Stockholm, Matthew Lee and Rita Foley in Washington, Paisley Dodds in London, and Paul Schemm in Tripoli, Libya, contributed to this report.