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Twin attacks

July 27, 2011

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has pledged a security review following last week's deadly twin attacks on the country, and reiterated Norway would not be "threatened" by the bombing and shooting spree.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Stoltenberg pledged a security reviewImage: dapd

Norway will not be threatened by last week's twin attacks which claimed at least 76 lives, the country's prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said Wednesday, adding that the nation remained committed to its open society.

"In a democratic and open society, we shall be very clear on our acceptance of different views. Also those views we don’t like, also those views we define as extreme," Stoltenberg told reporters at a press briefing. "But we should never accept violence."

Stoltenberg also pledged a security review once Norway had come to grips with the bombing and shooting attack in the capital, Oslo, last Friday. He added that several European intelligence services had joined the investigation into Norway's bloodiest massacre since World War Two.

"(Police) organization and capacity will be part of the evaluation," he said. "I believe the result of this will be more participation, more political activity."

Norwegian attacker Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik says he planned the attacks for yearsImage: AP

Earlier Wednesday, Norwegian police confirmed that the self-confessed perpetrator of the attacks, Anders Behring Breivik, was being monitored closely over concerns he might commit suicide while in custody. He is still expected to undergo psychiatric tests.

Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said his client was probably mentally ill, but conceded that he was likely to refuse to plead insanity. Both Lippestad and police say they now want to wait for the results of the psychiatric evaluation before commenting further.

Cache of bombs

Meanwhile, police say they have found and detonated a cache of explosives on a farm rented by Breivik outside of Oslo.

They refused to comment on the exact number and type of devices but said they had been "destroyed on the spot in a controlled explosion."

Local media reported that Breivik had used the farm as a secret place where he could build bombs. He is said to have bought six tons of fertilizer, an ingredient in explosives, since the start of May.

People laying flowers after Oslo attack
Norway continues to mourn for the deadImage: dapd

Police had investigated Breivik in March for a purchase of chemicals but the probe was dropped.

Police also said that Oslo's central train station was partially evacuated Wednesday morning because of a suspicious item of baggage found on a nearby bus. Norwegian bomb disposal experts said the suitcase was removed using a robot and that the bag did not pose a threat to public safety.

The alert level in the Norwegian capital has been heightened since last weeks attacks, with authorities taking all precautions necessary.

Victims names released

Police have also released the names of some of the victims of the twin attack, in which 76 people were killed in Oslo and on nearby Utoeya Island.

They include two women and a man killed in the explosion in the government quarter, as well as a man who was shot dead on the island.

On Wednesday, Norway's administration and church affairs minister, Rigmor Aasrud, will be the first cabinet member to return to her office after the bombing. The Prime Minister Stoltenberg will continue to work from the Defense Ministry.

Author: Darren Mara, Zulfikar Abbany (dpa, AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer, Ben Knight

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