Almost one hundred have been discovered as having been killed in a double whammy massacre which visited Norway, one of the most peaceful country in the world with a population of about 5million people.
The massacre had been described as well co-ordinated, inflicting deep double terror attack, which have shaken the nation to her marrows. Norway has never know such tragedy, or even any terror close to it ion history.
A massive car bomb ripped through the government district in Oslo, the capital city, the killing at least seven people and within two hours- and as the nation was grieving from the massive car bomb attack, struggling to count the losses, a man dressed as a police officer and armed with a pistol and hunting rifle struck on a nearby island, firing indiscriminately into a crowd of young people gathered for a political summer camp. It is the first massacre of such magnitude in histsory as Norway has never known the sort of national security quake.
Wounded: A powerful bomb blast rocked government and media buildings in Norway’s capital Oslo
Although five were confirmed dead on the island of Utoya, an hour from the capital, there were reports that the toll there could rise to over 80. Bodies were said to be floating in the water as many dived to their safety but got stuck in the swamp.
Terrified youngsters had to swim for their lives before armed police were helicoptered on to the island.
They shot and wounded the killer before capturing him. They said he was ‘linked’ to the bombing.
Reports said he was ‘blond, 6ft and Nordic-looking’. An obscure Islamist group calling itself ‘The Helpers of the Global Jihad’ claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming it was in retaliation for the publication in Norway of controversial cartoons lampooning the prophet Mohammad.
It was also claimed that Norway’s involvement in the Afghan war could be a factor.
Victim: Woman covered in blood is led away from the scene following the explosion this afternoon
While emergency teams were still scrambling to treat and rescue bloodstained victims of the city centre blasts, the gunman dressed as a police officer landed by boat at Utoya, 50 miles north of the city, and started to shoot fleeing teenagers.
Some had to dive into freezing waters in a frantic bid to escape death. Up to 700 people aged between 15 and 25 were at a youth political camp on the tiny island with few places to hide when the shooting started.
Their terror was chronicled by a series of dramatic and increasingly desperate Tweets and messages, pleading for help and describing what was happening.
One hastily-typed Tweet said: ‘We are sitting down by the beach. A man is shooting clothed in a police uniform. Help us! When are the police coming to help us!’
As Special Forces stormtroopers struggled to get on to the island, another message reported that a helicopter had come under fire when it tried to land.
The day of terror started shortly after 3.30pm local time in Oslo when a huge car bomb went off outside government offices. Casualties and witnesses said the huge blast ‘rocked the city’, leaving stunned survivors picking their way through glass and debris.
TV pictures showed victims covered in blood and massive damage along once busy streets. Injuries would certainly have been higher had it not been a public holiday yesterday – but last night the casualty list was still growing by the hour as hospitals battled to cope.
Moments after the blast the charred wreckage of a car could be seen outside one government building and there were reports of another blast and that the oil ministry building was also on fire.
The 20-storey government headquarters appeared to have lost almost every window in the bombing and security officials raced to evacuate the area for fear a secondary device may have been planted.
Smoke billows from a 17-storey government building after a powerful explosion rocked central Oslo
Utter devastation in the centre of the Norwegian capital Oslo as victims are treated in the streets strewn with debris
Much of Oslo was locked down with trains and other transport links closed. Large parts of the centre were evacuated.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg gave a TV interview in which he described the situation as ‘very serious’ – and revealed that police had told him not to say where he was speaking from. Earlier there were suggestions he had been due to visit the political camp on Utoya. Ole Tommy Pedersen was at a bus stop close to the government offices when the bomb exploded. He said: ‘I saw three or four injured people being carried out of the building a few minutes later.’
The windows of the offices of the popular Norwegian tabloid newspaper VG were also blown out by the blast and another witness, Ingunn Andersen told of people ‘covered with blood and lying in the street … glass everywhere … total chaos.’
Teenagers on the Norwegian holiday island of Utoya had to ‘swim for their lives’ and hide in trees when the gunman fired indiscriminately at them
One shocked Twitter user called finansakrobat likened the scene to the 2001 Twin Towers attacks in America and added: ‘The political centre of Oslo just exploded. I should have been standing in front of the blast. Just chance that I was late. I should be dead.’
Oistein Mjarum, of the Norwegian Red Cross, told how the blast was heard across the city and added: ‘This is a very busy area on Friday afternoon and there were a lot of people in the streets.
There were many people working in these buildings that are now burning so we fear the worst.
‘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.’
Britain quickly condemned the ‘horrific’ attacks.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said: ‘I send my deepest condolences to all those who have lost relatives or been injured in today’s horrific bomb blast in Oslo.
‘Our Embassy stands ready to provide assistance to any British nationals who may have been caught up in the attack.’
Oslo is a quiet and orderly city built on deep foundations of order and tranquillity. It is the site of countless peace-treaty summits, UN peacekeeping initiatives and large-scale aid projects funded by the vast oil wealth of Norway, a country of five million that has around 40 murders per year – a figure that has barely changed since the Second World War.
Beneath this surface, there are tougher undercurrents: a country that eagerly participates in military missions; that has been warned by the United States and other countries about extremist movements within its borders; and that has a small but surprisingly vocal and active extreme-right movement whose members are often furious with the government over immigration policies.
Still, it should be no surprise that Norwegians seemed stunned and inarticulate after the attack and the news that it appeared to have come from within their own community. And it shouldn’t be a surprise that their Prime Minister responded not with anger and vengeance but with a call for “more openness and more democracy.”
Massacre: People are seen on the banks of Utoya after the shooting – the Daily Mail has pixelated this image to avoid causing distress