Norway: Authorities say bow and arrow attack appears to be act of terror | News | DW | 14.10.2021

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Norway: Authorities say bow and arrow attack appears to be act of terror

Norway's security service has said a bow and arrow attack that killed five people was likely an act of terrorism. Authorities said the suspect had recently converted to Islam and may have become radicalized.

A police forensic passes a Norwegian policeman standing guards outside during investigations

Police are still investigating the motive behind the attack

Norway's security services said Thursday they believe a rampage carried out by a 37-year-old Danish convert to Islam with a bow and arrow and other weapons that killed five on Wednesday appeared to be "an act of terrorism."

The victims of Wednesday's attack, which took place in the small town of Kongsberg 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Oslo, included four women and one man between the ages of 50 and 70, police said. Three others were wounded, including a police officer. 

The suspect was interrogated overnight and has cooperated with authorities, who said he confessed. A prosecutor said earlier that the man had been known to Norway's health services.

Police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud said, "There earlier had been worries of the man having been radicalized."

"We haven't had any reports about him in 2021," he added.

Police are "continuing investigations to be completely sure," Saeverud said.

Watch video 01:39

Norway mourns victims of Kongsberg attack

What happened in Kongsberg Wednesday night?

Police believe the suspect acted alone when he attacked residents with a bow and arrow and other weapons. An eyewitness reported the suspect also used a knife

Norwegian journalist Kjetil Stormark told DW from Kongsberg that the suspect had a criminal record. During the attack, he managed to twice evade police efforts to capture him as he hunted his victims randomly, Stormark said. 

The Aftenposten newspaper cited police, who said the attacks continued for over 30 minutes across a "large area" of Kongsberg, including at a Coop Extra grocery store.

Police were alerted of the attack at around 6:30 p.m. local time, and arrested the suspect about 20 minutes later. An off-duty police officer was among  the wounded.

An arrow is left in a wall at the scene where a man armed with a bow and arrow killed several people

An arrow is seen stuck in a wall at the scene of the attack in Kongsberg

A 'gruesome' attack

Outgoing Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg described the attack as "gruesome," while Prime Minister-designate Jonas Gahr Stoere called it "a cruel and brutal act."

Parts of Kongsberg were reportedly evacuated in the wake of the violence, according to Norwegian media.

Dozens of helicopters and ambulances were dispatched to the scene. Two of the injured victims were placed in the intensive care unit at the hospital.

The Norwegian Police Directorate ordered officers to carry weapons following the attack. Police in the Scandinavian country are usually unarmed. 

The criminal act comes a little over 10 years after right-wing extremist Anders Breivik carried out the worst terrorist attack in Norwegian history.

Breivik set off a bomb in Oslo and went on a shooting rampage on the island of Utoya in July 2011, killing 77 people in total.

Watch video 03:20

Kongsberg attack: Journalist Kenneth Haug speaks to DW

ar,wd/fb,wmr (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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