Friday, July 22, 2011

Bombing In Norway

Via The New York Times:

Norway suffered two shocking attacks on Friday, when powerful explosions shook the government center in the capital and, shortly after, a gunman stalked youths on an island summer camp for children of members of the governing Labor Party. Police were treating the assaults, which together killed at least 16 people, as connected, according to Norweigian news media, though it remained unclear who was behind them.

The explosions, presumably from one or more bombs, turned the ordinarily placid Scandinavian capital into a scene reminiscent of terror attacks in Beirut or Baghdad or Oklahoma City, blowing out windows of several government buildings, including one housing the office of the Norwegian prime minister, who was unharmed. The state television broadcaster, citing the police, said seven people were killed and at least 15 injured in the explosions.

Even as police locked down a large area of the city, a man dressed as a police officer entered the camp on the island of Utoya, about 25 miles northwest of Oslo, a Norwegian security official said, and opened fire.

“The situation’s gone from bad to worse,” said Runar Kvernen, spokesman for the National Police Directorate under the Ministry of Justice and Police, adding that most of the children at the camp were 15 and 16 years old. Panicked youths jumped in to the water to escape or went into hiding on the island, which has no bridge to the mainland, a witness said. Many could not flee in time.

Oslo police said that 9 or 10 people were killed at the camp, according to The Associated Press. A witness on the island told the state broadcaster that he saw between 20 and 25 bodies on the island, The A.P. reported; the full extent of the carnage remained to be learned.

Live updates here.