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Norway: Defiance After Bombing, Shooting Outrage …

  • July 23rd, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

jens_stoltenberg.jpgnorway-flag.jpg“You will not destroy us”, vowed the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg (picture), after two bloody attacks on innocents, on a public holiday in the country.

Police in Norway have confirmed at least seven deaths in the Friday afternoon bomb attack in central Oslo, and have linked it to a shooting at a political party youth camp, with as many as 20 killed there.

People in the centre of Oslo said they thought an earthquake had struck when a car bomb exploded at the government building complex housing the Prime Minister’s office.

It is also the location of one of the country’s tabloid newspapers.

Emergency crews said that on arrival they had found at least seven dead and ten hurt, with a fire burning in one of the buildings.

The central part of the city was cordoned off and people were being urged to move out from there.

First news of the shootings from an island youth camp, in Tyrifjorden Lake outside Oslo, indicated a man dressed as a police officer had opened fire on several teenagers with an automatic weapon.

Some of them sent messages using social media that they had hidden in bushes or jumped into the water to escape.

With at least 20 thought dead and others injured, police who entered the area by helicopter said they had caught and arrested a Norwegian man.

Details of the shooting would resonate badly with Australians, mindful of the murders at Port Arthur on 28.4.96.

A gunman shot dead 35 people including infants and wounded another 21, at the historic former convict settlement in Tasmania.

It was a psychological crime, the man responsible,  a loner aged 28, was gaoled for life; the national government responded with a ban on private possession of automatic weapons in Australia.

In Norway in the immediate aftermath of the crimes on Friday, first speculation was that it could have been a “jihadist” attack (one radical religious group claiming the blame, then withdrawing its claim), or agents of Libya, acting out a threat to NATO countries, including Norway, by the country’s embattled head of government, Muammar al-Gaddafi.

That speculation has died down, while the Prime Minister, speaking for Norway on television, did appear certain the two attacks were a political crime.

“You will not destroy our democracy; you will not bomb us into silence; you will not shoot us into silence”, he said.

Mr Stoltenberg’s Labour Party has headed the centre-left coalition government of Norway since 2005.

The camp at Tyrifjorden Lake was organised by the youth wing of his party and he was scheduled to go there on the weekend.