Norway bow-and-arrow killings seen as an ‘act of terror’

“The whole act appears to be an act of terror,” said Hans Sverre Sjoevold, head of Norway’s domestic intelligence service, known as the PST.

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“We do not know what the motivation of the perpetrator is,” Sjoevold said in English. “We have to wait for the outcome of the investigation.”

He said the speculate was known to the PST, but he declined to elaborate. The agency said the terror threat level for Norway remained unchanged at “moderate”.

Regional Police Chief Ole B. Saeverud described the man as a Muslim transform and said there “earlier had been worries of the man having been radicalised,” but he did not elaborate or say why he was before flagged or what authorities did in response.

Norwegian media reported the speculate had a conviction for burglary and drug possession, and last year a court granted a restraining order for him to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them.

Svane Mathiassen told broadcaster NRK the speculate will be examined by forensic psychiatric experts, which is “not uncommon in such serious situations”.

Police were alerted to a man shooting arrows about 6.15pm. Regional prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen, told The Associated Press that after his arrest, the attacker “clearly described what he had done. He admitted killing the five people.”

She said the bow and arrows were just part of his arsenal. Police have not said what else he used, but Voldseth told the AP that when he ran toward the sound of screams, he saw a woman being stabbed by a man with some kind of weapon.

Voldseth said he recognised the attacker, saying he lived nearby and “usually walks with his head down and headphones on”.

Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen.Credit:AP

“I have only spoken to him a few times, but I have had the impression he might be a person with problems,” he said.

Mass killings are scarce in low-crime Norway, and the attack recalled the country’s worst peacetime slaughter a decade ago, when a right-wing domestic extremist killed 77 people with a bomb, a rifle and a pistol. Memorials were held in July on the 10th anniversary of those slayings.

People have “experienced that their safe local ecosystem suddenly became a dangerous place,” King Harald V said.

“It shakes us all when horrible things happen near us, when you least expect it, in the middle of everyday life on the open street.”

New chief Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called the attack “horrific”.

Dozens of people saw the killings. Erik Benum, who lives on the same road as the supermarket that was attacked, told AP he saw shop workers taking shelter in doorways.

Police cordon off one of the sites where a man killed several people in Kongsberg, Norway. Credit:AP

“I saw them hiding in the corner. Then I went to see what was happening, and I saw the police moving in with a protect and rifles. It was a very strange sight,” Benum said.

Police, along with reinforcements from in other places, flooded into Kongsberg and confined several roads. The blue lights of emergency vehicles and spotlights from a helicopter illuminated the scene.

On Thursday morning, the whole town was eerily quiet, Benum said.

“People are sad and shocked,” he said.

Flags were lowered to half-staff, and residents placed flowers, candles and stuffed animals around a makeshift memorial in a central square.

Mayor Kari Anne Sand described the last 24 hours as a “nightmare”.

“The town was attacked last night and five people died. I think most of the inhabitants are in quite a shock that such a thing could happen here. This is a quiet town, a quiet municipality,” she said, adding that health and social sets officials are working to care for those who need assistance.

The main church in Kongsberg also was open for those needing comfort.

“I don’t think anyone expects to have these kinds of experiences. But nobody could imagine this could happen here in our little town,” the Reverend Reidar Aasboe told the AP.

AP

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