An attack on a bus in western Norway by a man wielding a knife has left three people dead, including the driver. The motive of the attacker was not immediately clear.
The incident occurred on a remote mountain road on Monday near the town of Ardal, about 220 kilometers (137 miles) northwest of the capital, Oslo. Emergency services said they were originally called to respond to what they believed to be a traffic accident.
Firefighters were the first to respond to the scene and detained the assailant until police arrived. Ronny Iden, police chief in Sogn and Fjordarne counties, said the suspect is originally from South Sudan and currently resides in Ovre Ardal, a town near the scene of the attack. Iden said the suspect is in his early 30s, contrary to early police reports that said he was in his 50s.
The victims included the Norwegian bus driver and a Swedish passenger, both in their 50s, and a 19-year-old Norwegian woman, according to policy attorney Trine Erdal. The three victims and the assailant were the only passengers on the bus, Erdal said.
The bus was driving a long-distance route from the mountainous Valdres region, a popular skiing destination, to Oslo.
Anti-terror unit called off
Oslo police were preparing to send an anti-terror unit to the scene, but they were called off after receiving word the attacker had been taken into custody.
"The situation was very unclear," said Oslo police spokesman Andre Krakenes. "They only told us that there was one man on the bus who had hijacked the bus and the driver was hurt. That was the first message we got here."
Multiple killings are extremely rare in Norway. The country was left shocked by rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik's gun and bomb rampage two years ago that left 77 people dead.
dr,slk/pfd (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)