The death toll in the twin attacks that hit Norway on Friday has gone beyond 80, even as police have arrested a Norwegian national suspected of carrying out the gun and bomb attack.
According to Norwegian television channels and newspapers, a 32-year-old man named Anders Behring Breivik unleashed the worst ever attack in the nation's history after the World War II.
According to some reports, more than 80 people, mostly teenage children, were killed in the Utoya island alone. Another seven people were killed when a bomb ripped through a building in capital Oslo, near the Prime Minister’s office. More than 90 people were also injured in the bomb blast.
The carnage in the holiday island of Utoya, which is owned by the Norwegian Labor Party, was unleashed when the suspect, wearing police uniform, beckoned children to him and opened fire indiscriminately. More than 700 teenagers were gathered in the island, taking part in a camp.
One of the survivors said he escaped bullets only because he feigned death and clang to dead bodies strewn around. I could feel his breath ... I could hear his boots, he said, according to CNN.
Another survivor who saw the pictures of Breivik on TV could confirm that he was the assailant who went on a shooting spree on the island. The police say the shooting at Utoyo and the blast in Oslo were related.
CNN quoted Norwegian Labor Party member Bjorn Jarle Roberg-Larsen as saying that the attacker had accosted the group of youth posing as a policeman conducting a security check. After just a few minutes, he took a handgun and started to shoot people, Roberg-Larsen said.
People fell from bullet wounds, and most scurried for cover, while some even approached the shooter, thinking the whole thing was a drill. Some youths ran towards the shore and jumped into the waters and swam to safety.
The police spokesman said the assailant did not work for the police. Apart from the automatic weapon, the gunman had also carried explosives to the island. After killing down whoever was in sight, he went around looking for anyone who was alive. People had hid themselves in bushes, caves and on trees.
The blast in Oslo left several buildings, including the oil ministry building, on fire. The prime minister was not in his office, and was not injured. In a message to whoever the attackers were, Jens Stoltenberg said: You won't destroy us ... You won't destroy our democracy. We are a small but proud nation. No one can bomb us to silence. No one can scare us from being Norway. This evening and tonight, we'll take care of each other. That's what we do best when attacked.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said it would be premature to jump into conclusions regarding the motives behind the attack. He underlined the fact that the suspect was a Norwegian national and said police would carry out investigations.