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Norway horror: 84 die in camp shooting, 7 in blast

  OSLO, Norway (AP) _ A Norwegian who dressed as a police officer to gun down summer campers killed at least 84 people at an island retreat, horrified police said early Saturday. It took investigators several hours to begin to realize the full scope of Friday's massacre, which followed an explosion in nearby Oslo that killed seven and that police say was set off by the same suspect.

The mass shootings are among the worst in history. With the blast outside the prime minister's office, they formed the deadliest day of terror in Western Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings killed 191.

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.

A young victim is helped in the center of Oslo (AP)
A young victim is helped in the center of Oslo (AP)

``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.''

Maeland said the death toll could rise even more. He said others were severely wounded, but police didn't know how many were hurt.

A suspect in the shootings and the Oslo explosion was arrested. Though police did not release his name, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK identified him as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik and said police searched his Oslo apartment overnight. NRK and other Norwegian media posted pictures of the blond, blue-eyed Norwegian.

National police chief Sveinung Sponheim told NRK that the suspected gunman's Internet postings ``suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views, but whether that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen.''

A police official said the suspect appears to have acted alone in both attacks, and that ``it seems like 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.

``It seems it's not Islamic-terror related,'' the official said. ``This seems like a madman's work.''

The official said the attack ``is probably more Norway's Oklahoma City than it is Norway's World Trade Center.'' Domestic terrorists carried out the 1995 attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City, while foreign terrorists were responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

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 left-leaning Labor Party, which leads a coalition 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.

People are seen on the bank of the Utoeya island after a shooting took place at a meeting of the youth wing of Norway's ruling Labour Party, July 22, 2011. It was unclear whether the people were hiding or dead. (AP)
People are seen on the bank of the Utoeya island after a shooting took place at a meeting of the youth wing of Norway's ruling Labour Party, July 22, 2011. It was unclear whether the people were hiding or dead. (AP)

A 15-year-old camper named Elise said she heard gunshots, but then saw a police officer and thought she was safe. Then he started shooting people right before her eyes.

``I saw many dead people,'' said Elise, whose father, Vidar Myhre, didn't want her to disclose her last name. ``He first shot people on the island. Afterward he started shooting people in the water.''

Elise said she hid behind the same rock that the killer was standing on. ``I could hear his breathing from the top of the rock,'' she said.

She said it was impossible to say how many minutes passed while she was waiting for him to stop.

At a hotel in the village of Sundvollen, where survivors of the shooting were taken, 21-year-old Dana Berzingi wore pants stained with blood. He said the fake police officer ordered people to come closer, then pulled weapons and ammunition from a bag and started shooting.

Several victims ``had pretended as if they were dead to survive,'' Berzingi said. But after shooting the victims with one gun, the gunman shot them again in the head with a shotgun, he said.

"I lost several friends,'' said Berzingi, who used the cell phone of one of those friends to call police.

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.

The dust-fogged scene after the blast reminded one visitor from New York of Sept. 11.

Ian Dutton, who was in a nearby hotel, said people ``just covered in rubble'' were walking through ``a fog of debris.''

``It wasn't any sort of a panic,'' he said, ``It was really just people in disbelief and shock, especially in a such as safe and open country as Norway. You don't even think something like that is possible.''

Two women are seen leaving as rescue workers arrive to help the injured following an explosion in Oslo, Norway Friday July 22, 2011. (AP)
Two women are seen leaving as rescue workers arrive to help the injured following an explosion in Oslo, Norway Friday July 22, 2011. (AP)

Police said the Oslo explosion was caused by ``one or more'' bombs.

The police official 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.

The suspect had only a minor criminal record, the official said.

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 wounded.

Sponheim said a man was arrested in the shooting, and the suspect had been observed in Oslo before the explosion there. But he refused to confirm the suspect's identity as reported by Norwegian media.

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.''



노르웨이 연쇄테러로 최소 87명 사망

노르웨이 정부 청사와 노동당 청년캠프 행사장에서 지난 22일(현지시각) 발생한 연쇄테러로 인한 사망자 수가 최소  87명으 로 늘어났다.

외스테인 맬란드 노르웨이 경찰청장은 23일 기자회견에서 전날 오후 수도  오슬 로에 있는 정부청사 폭탄테러에 이어 발생한 북서부 우토야섬 노동당 행사장 총격사 건의 사망자만 "최소 80명에 이른다"고 밝혔다.

경찰은 이번 총격사건 한두 시간 전에 오슬로 정부청사 인근에서 폭탄 테 러가 발생해 최소 7명이 숨졌다고 밝혔다.

이번 연쇄 테러는 2004년 스페인 마드리드 열차테러 사건 이후 서유럽에서  일 어난 최악의 참사로 알려졌다. 

맬란드 경찰청장은 이번 총격 사건으로 인한 중상자들 때문에 사망자가 더 늘어 날 수 있다며, 사건의 피해규모가 '대재앙' 수준이라고 덧붙였다.

그러나 경찰은 아직 정확한 부상자 숫자를 파악하지 못하고 있다.

경찰은 이와 함께 섬 안에 폭발물들이 설치됐을 가능성을 예의 주시하고 있다고 밝혔다.

이번 행사는 560여명의 청년들이 참석하는 여름캠프로, 옌스 스톨텐베르그 노르 웨이 총리가 연설할 예정이었다.

사건 현장을 목격한 에밀리 베르사즈(19) 양은 이 같은 사건이 미국에서나 발생 했을 법한 일이라며 특히 노르웨이에서 일어났다고는 믿을 수가 없는 사건이라고 말 했다.

경찰은 애초 이번 총격 사건으로 최소 10명이 숨졌다고 밝혔으나, 이후 수 시간 만에 사망자 수가 최소 80명으로 늘어났다고 발표했다.

경찰은 이와 관련, "사건 현장을 조사하는데 시간이 걸렸다"고 설명했다.

경찰은 총격사건 현장에서 노르웨이 태생의 32세 백인 남성을 용의자로  체포했 으며, 이 남성이 두 테러사건 모두에 연루됐을 것으로 추정하고 있다.

이에 대해 NRK와 TV2 등 노르웨이 현지 언론은 체포된 용의자의 이름이 '안데르 스 베링 브레이비크'로, 그가 극우주의 세력과 연루돼 있으며 본인의 이름으로 등록 된 무기가 2점 있다고 보도했다.

'민족주의자'를 자처하는 용의자는 반이슬람 성향의 웹사이트에 자주 글을 올렸 으며, 현대 정치를 "사회주의 대 자본주의의 싸움이 아닌 민족주의 대 국제주의의 싸움"으로 규정하면서 다문화주의를 강력히 반대한 것으로 알려졌다.

한편 경찰은 정부청사 인근 폭탄테러 현장에서 사건 직전 자동차 한 대가  고속 으로 주행하는 모습이 목격됐으며, 이번 사건이 차량을 이용한 폭탄테러일 가능성도 있다고 전했다.

스톨텐베르그 총리는 "이번 사건이 유럽에서 가장 평화적인 나라를 위협하지 못 할 것"이라며 "노르웨이의 민주주의와 국민을 망가뜨리지 못할 것"이라고 강조했다.

스톨텐베르그 총리는 이와 함께 노르웨이가 조만간 이번 테러의 배후가 누구인 지, 그 배후가 어떤 처벌을 받게 되는지 지켜보게 될 것이라고 덧붙였다.

국제사회도 이번 테러와 관련해 비난의 목소리를 높였다.

2009년 노벨평화상 수상 차 노르웨이를 방문했던 버락 오바마 미국 대통령은 사 건 피해자들에게 위로의 뜻을 표하며 "테러발생 방지가 전 세계 국가의 이해관계와 연관된 일이라는 사실을 이번 연쇄테러가 상기시켜 준다. 각국이 이 같은 사태를 방 지하기 위해 정보교류 등의 측면에서 협력해야 한다"고 말했다.

반기문 유엔(UN) 사무총장도 마틴 네시르키 대변인을 통해 노르웨이 정부와  사 망자 유가족들에게 애도의 뜻을 표하며 유엔이 '극악무도한' 이번 사태를 강력하게 비판한다고 밝혔다.

1993년 체결된 이스라엘-팔레스타인 간 오슬로 협약 등 각종 평화협약을 중재하 면서 국제 평화의 상징국이 됐던 노르웨이는 아프가니스탄에 약 500명의 병력을  파 견했지만 이슬람 극단주의 세력의 테러공격을 받았던 적은 없었다.