German leaders devastated by Oslo attacks | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 23.07.2011
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German leaders devastated by Oslo attacks

The twin attacks that rocked Norway on Friday night have sparked widespread condemnation. Angela Merkel and Christian Wulff have joined international leaders in expressing their sympathies for the victims of the tragedy.

Oslo's government quarter after the bomb blast

Oslo's government quarter after the bomb blast

International leaders lined up to condemn the attacks in Norway where a bomb blast rocked Oslo and a gunman went on a shooting spree at a youth camp on a small island outside the capital.

German President Christian Wulff expressed his condolences in a telegram to his counterpart King Harald. "Germany and the German people are standing shoulder to shoulder with you at this difficult time," his message said.

On Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a statement saying it is clear that everybody who believes in democracy and peaceful coexistence should strongly condemn terrorism, whatever the reason behind it.

"The federal government and the Germans stand in solidarity with the Norwegian people," Merkel said on Friday.

The world in shock

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy said he was "deeply shocked" by the attacks. "I condemn in the strongest terms these acts of cowardice, for which there is no justification," he said.

US President Barack Obama, who was meeting with New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key, expressed his condolences to the Norwegian people.

Merkel

Merkel said everybody who believes in democracy should strongly condemn terrorism

"It's a reminder that the entire international community holds a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring," Obama said. "We have to work cooperatively both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was "shocked" to learn about the bombing and shooting.

"(The Secretary-General) condemns this violence and expresses his condolences to the government of Norway and the families of the victims," a UN statement said. "The United Nations stands together with the people of Norway at this terrible moment."

Europeans show solidarity

Neighboring Sweden also expressed their solidarity with Norway ,with Foreign Minister Carl Bildt saying, "We are all Norwegians," in a message on Twitter.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy both condemned the attacks while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the attack showed "a total lack of respect for human life."

Condemnation also came from countries including Australia, New Zealand, China, the Philippines and Cambodia.

Author: Darren Mara, Andre Leslie, Charlotte Chelsom-Pill (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Andreas Illmer, Ben Knight

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