Archery attack kills 5 in Norway;  terrorism is not ruled out

Police isolate a place after an attack by a man armed with bow and arrows

A man armed with a bow and arrow killed five people and wounded two more on Wednesday (13) in Kongsberg, in southeastern Norway, before being detained, police said, who did not rule out a terrorist motive for the act.

“Sadly, we can confirm that there are several wounded and also, unfortunately, several dead,” Øyvind Aas, a local police official, said at a press conference.

The two wounded were hospitalized in intensive care units, but according to Aas, there is nothing to indicate that their lives are in danger. One of them was a police officer who was off duty and was in one of several places attacked.

A suspect was arrested. “According to the information we have so far, there is only one person involved in these acts,” added Aas, who also clarified that the motives for the attack are unknown.

“Looking at how things developed, it’s natural to assume that it was a terrorist attack,” Øyvind Aas said at a later press conference.

“The detained man has not yet been interrogated and it is too early to talk about the motives for the attack,” he added, detailing that investigators “keep all hypotheses open.”

– There is no search for another suspect –

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) has been alerted, a spokesman told AFP. “For now, it’s just guesswork,” declared the official, Martin Bernsen, of the eventuality of a terrorist attack.

Police did not give details about the suspect, except that he is a man and was taken to the police station in the nearby town of Drammen. He also did not confirm or deny that he was being monitored by the security forces and added that he is not looking for another suspect.

“These facts move us,” declared Prime Minister Erna Solberg, on her last day in office. Tomorrow (14), she will hand over her post to Labor Jonas Gahr Støre, winner of the September 13 legislative elections.

Informed at 6:13 pm local time (13:13 pm Brasília), the police captured the suspect at 6:47 pm. In the small town of approximately 25,000 inhabitants, located just under 80 kilometers from Oslo, access to the sites of the attack was blocked by a police cordon and agents, according to an AFP correspondent.

– Armed police officers –

Authorities asked the local population to stay in their homes. Several neighborhoods were isolated and television images showed a large, heavily armed police device and ambulances.

A helicopter and an anti-bomb team were sent to Kongsberg.

The Norwegian police department decreed that agents, who usually carry out their patrols unarmed, would temporarily carry weapons throughout the country.

Public broadcaster NRK showed on its website a photo sent by a witness showing a black arrow stuck in a wall. In other photos you can see what appear to be competition arrows on the ground.

Norway, a generally peaceful country, has been the scene of far-right attacks in the past.

On 22 July 2011, extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people by detonating a bomb outside the government building in Oslo, before opening fire at a Norwegian Labor Party youth camp on the island of Utøya, near the capital.

In August 2019, Philip Manshaus shot a mosque on the outskirts of Oslo, before being surrendered by the crowd, without serious injuries. Before the attack, Manshaus murdered his adopted sister, who was of Asian origin, on a racist basis.

Authorities also thwarted several Islamist attacks.

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