Norway pauses to remember attacks, one year on | News | DW | 22.07.2012
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Norway pauses to remember attacks, one year on

One year after attacks that claimed the lives of 77 people, Norwegians took part in ceremonies of remembrance across the country. The man who has confessed to the killings still awaits his verdict.

Security was stepped up as Norwegians took part in events across the country on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of attacks that killed 77 people and injured more than 200 others.

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Norway remembers massacre victims

Anders Behring Breivik has confessed to first setting off a bomb outside a government building in Oslo, which killed eight people, then going on a shooting rampage on Utoeya Island, just outside of the capital, killing 69 others.

Most of the victims on the island were teenagers taking part in a summer camp hosted by the youth wing of Norway's Labor Party.

Sunday's main remembrance ceremony, in Oslo, was attended by members of Norway's royal family, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, and other senior officials.

"The 22nd of july will forever be linked to those who lost their lives," Stoltenberg said in a short statement.

"The bomb and bullets were aimed at changing Norway. The Norwegian people responded by embracing our values. The killer failed, the people won," Stoltenberg added.

The prime minister also laid a wreath outside of the still heavily damaged government building.

On Utoeya Island, around 1,000 survivors of the shooting spree gathered for a commemoration ceremony for the victims that was not open to the media.

Verdict pending

Breivik, a self-described right-wing extremist, is still awaiting a verdict after his 10-week-long trial wrapped up last month. He has confessed to carrying out the attacks and no evidence has emerged to indicate that anyone else was responsible.

However, the court does have to decide whether or not he was sane and therefore criminally responsible for the killings. That decision will determine whether he will be handed a prison sentence or be sent to a closed psychiatric ward.

pfd/tj (dpa, AP)

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