The first attack occurred when a massive bomb erupted in the heart of Oslo; the second occurred at the ruling Labour Party’s youth camp on an island outside the capital.
A 32-year-old Norwegian man is in custody, officials said, after two attacks earlier in the day.
At least seven people were killed in Oslo, and at least 80 were killed on Utoya Island, officials said. A Labour Party member said panic broke out at the camp, with people climbing trees and jumping in a lake to avoid the gunfire.
The acting national police chief said the gun used was an automatic weapon and that undetonated explosives were found on the island after the attack.
Seven have been confirmed killed, more seriously injured in Oslo. Reuters confirmed two terror attacks in Norway today had been coordinated and linked. Oslo has never been considered a prime target for terror groups.
Smoke poured from a building in the center of Oslo, Norway, on Friday, July 22, following an explosion that tore open several buildings including the prime minister’s office, shattering windows and covering the street with documents.
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.
At the same time, a man dressed as a policeman shot and injured at least five people at a meeting of the youth wing of the party of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Friday after a blast in the capital, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said. Former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland had been due to attend the meeting on Friday.
“There is a critical situation at Utoeya,” Stoltenberg told independent TV2. His own calendar showed that he had been due to make a speech at the meeting on Saturday.[youtube:LV6NUPDiFjQ]
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was working at home Friday and was unharmed, according to Senior Adviser Oivind Ostang.
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.
“So far, police cannot say anything about the scope of the damage, aside from that there’s been one or several explosions,” a police statement read.
An AP reporter who was in the office of Norwegian news agency NTB said the building shook from the blast and all employees evacuated as the alarm went off. Down in the street, he saw one person with a leg injury being led away from the area.
Public broadcaster NRK showed video of a blackened car lying on its side amid the debris.
Witness Ole Tommy Pedersen was standing at a bus stop 100 meters (yards) from the government high-rise at 3:30 pm (1330 GMT) when the explosion occurred.
“I saw three or four injured people being carried out of the building a few minutes later,” Pedersen told AP.
“It exploded – it must have been a bomb. People ran in panic … I counted at least 10 injured people,” said bystander Kjersti Vedun, who was leaving the area.
Today, MSC Orchestra was docked at the port of Oslo in Norway, where in the afternoon two explosions hit buildings in the city center. MSC Cruises reported that the cruise ship has not suffered any damages and that all passengers came back from excursions as planned. All guests are now safe on board and the cruise will follow its original schedule.
The blast comes as Norway grapples with a homegrown terror plot linked to al-Qaeda. 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.