olso blast
Smoke billows from a 17-storey government building after a powerful explosion rocked central Oslo July 22, 2011. A huge explosion damaged government buildings in central Oslo on Friday including Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's office, injuring several people, a Reuters witness said. The blast blew out most windows on the 17-storey building housing Stoltenberg's office, as well as nearby ministries including the oil ministry, which was on fire. Reuters

An explosion at government headquarters in Oslo, Norway has left two people dead and at least a dozen wounded.

In the aftermath of the Friday afternoon explosion, officials have now confirmed the deaths, and are searching for more distressed and injured people.

Police are also now saying that the blast was caused by a bomb, confirming early speculation that the explosion was not an accident. The bombing shattered the windows of the 17-story building holds the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg 's office, and is near to Norway's biggest tabloid newspaper VG, according to The Telegraph.

At least seven injured people have been bused to local hospitals.

Norway is not the likeliest candidate for a terrorist attack, but if the Friday bombing proves to be the work of militants, it will surely shock relatively quiescent Scandinavia.

The first images of the explosion appeared on Twitter immediately after the blast.

There is speculation that, if the explosion is a bombing, it could have been the work of militant jihadists anger about the looming deportation of Iraqi-born cleric Mullah Krekar. Krekar is the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, and has been living in Norwary controversially since the early 1990s.