A 32-year-old Norwegian man has been arrested in connection with two deadly attacks in Norway on Friday: a massive bombing in Oslo that killed 7, and a shooting at an island youth camp near the capital that police say has left at least 80 people dead.
Earlier, the number of dead from the island shooting spree was put at 10, but police now say that at least 80 people died when a gunmen opened fire indiscriminately at the ruling Labour Party's youth camp, the BBC says.
ABC News reports that the suspect in both the Oslo bombing and the shootings on Utoya island has been taken into custody. He is said to be Norwegian and a military veteran, "a kind of Norway version of Timothy McVeigh," Brian Ross of ABC News said.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the suspect, who was arrested on Utoya island, had probably acted alone, citing unidentified police officials in Norway:
A police official said the 32-year-old ethnic Norwegian suspect arrested at the camp on Utoya island appears to have acted alone in both attacks, and that "it seems like that this is not linked to any international terrorist organizations at all." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that information had not been officially released by Norway's police.
"It seems it's not Islamic-terror related," the official said. "This seems like a madman's work."
The official said the attack "is probably more Norway's Oklahoma City than it is Norway's World Trade Center."
The acting chief of police, Sveinung Sponheim, said the suspect didn't appear to have ties with Islamic extremists, the New York Times reported. The police and other authorities wouldn't say what the suspect’s motivations might have been, but there was speculation that the attacks were aimed at the prime minister's liberal government.
Some media reported that the 32-year-old suspect's name was Anders Behring Breivik, and that he was being questioned, according to the Daily Mail. The man has links to right-wing extremism, the independent Norwegian television station TV2 reported, without identifying its sources, according to Reuters. The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that police had stormed the suspect's home in Oslo, msnbc reported.
Norway is reeling from the bombing in the center of Oslo and the shootings at the ruling Labour Party's youth camp on Utoya island, outside the capital, according to CNN.
Police say seven people were killed and two badly wounded when a powerful bomb exploded in the Norwegian capital, around Reuters reports. The ABC was reporting two explosions, with at least one resulting from a "massive vehicle bomb," according to U.S. government sources on the scene. The mangled wreckage of a car was seen near one of the buildings, BBC reported.
The blast took place near the offices of the Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg and the parliament. Stoltenberg was working at home Friday and was unharmed, the AP reports.
Shortly after the explosions, a man dressed as a police officer reportedly opened fire on a summer camp for youth members of the ruling Labor Party on the island of Utoya, about 25 miles from the city, wounding at least five, a Norwegian security official told the New York Times.
As many as 700 people were believed to be taking part in the summer camp, most of them teenagers aged between 14 and 18, according to Business Insider. Several people are severely injured and the death toll is expected to rise.
Labor spokesman Per Gunnar Dahl told the AP that a gunman dressed in a police uniform started shooting at youths assembled for the party's annual youth camp.
A man dressed as a policeman shot wildly into a crowd, "hitting many people," the VG, a daily newspaper reported on its website. Police said they believed the bombing and the shooting were connected. Norwegian media was reporting that the suspect had been arrested on the island.
A witness to the shootings on the island told a Norwegian TV station that he had seen at least 20 bodies, according to the Washington Post. Norwegian television broadcast images of bodies lying on the island, with people swimming away. Utoya is a third of a mile from shore, and there is no bridge linking it with the mainland.
Oslo police say that the gunman had previously been spotted in the capital prior to the explosions. "That news has many hoping that the attacks were the work of a lone terrorist and not a coordinated attack," according to a Slate liveblog of the unfolding Oslo attacks.
A police spokesman, Are Frykholm, told CNN that a man arrested on the island appeared to match the description of a person seen near the government buildings on Oslo shortly before the explosion there occurred.
According to the New York Times:
“The police have every reason to believe there is a connection between the explosions and what happened at Utoya,” the police said.
They also said they found explosives on Utoya island.
A Reuters witness said several army soldiers had taken up position around Oslo city center. With police advising people to evacuate central Oslo, apparently in fear of more attacks, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told Norwegian television in a phone call that the situation was "very serious". He said that police had told him not to say where he was speaking from.
According to the Washington Post, Stoltenberg said:
“You will not destroy us. You will not destroy our democracy.”
Prime Minister Stoltenberg had reportedly been due to attend the event. His office was one of those hit by one of several explosions hours earlier, although he was reportedly working from home.
Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang said it was a "terrible day" for Norwegians, CNN reports.
Several buildings in the capital were reportedly badly damaged, and many of the windows of the 17-story government tower that houses the prime minister's offices blown out. A reporter from the Norwegian broadcaster NRK told CNN that people were in the street bleeding. Emergency ferries rushed the injured to hospitals unaccustomed to such carnage on a large scale.
The death toll was expected to rise, the AP reports, quoting police spokesman Thor Langli as saying that there were dead people left in the buildings.
Photos and television footage showed a scene of devastation, with entire building facades destroyed and the surrounding street strewn with glass and debris.
All roads into the city center were closed immediately after the explosions, NRK reported, and security officials had evacuated people from the area, fearing another blast, according to the BBC.
Nick Soubiea, an American-Swedish tourist in Oslo, said he was less than 100 yards from the blast, which he described as deafening.
"It was almost in slow motion, like a big wave that almost knocked us off our chairs," he told CNN. "It was extremely frightening."
He said the streets were crowded with people trying to get away from the center of the city. "There are people running down the streets, people crying, everyone's on their cell phones calling home," he said.