The new Norwegian prime minister described the Kongsberg murders as a “terribly cruel attack on innocent people” on the first day of his term in office.
Jonas Gahr Stoere took office on Thursday and announced that he would travel to the town on Friday where five people were killed in a bow and arrow attack according to security services “which appears to be terrorism “.
The man accused of being behind Wednesday’s attack is a Muslim convert who had previously been reported as radicalized, police said.
He was appointed by the police Espen Andersen Bråthen, 37.
The Norwegian internal security agency, PST, said on Thursday that the attack “currently appears to be an act of terrorism,” but added that the investigation would shed more light on the motives.
Five people were killed in the Kongsberg attack, and three others were seriously injured. Police initially said there were two seriously injured people, but updated the number to three on Thursday evening.
Police added that the suspect’s request for pre-trial detention will be considered by Buskerud District Court on Friday.
Erna Solberg, who was acting Prime Minister of Norway until Thursday, called the attack on buyers in the city, near Oslo, “gruesome”.
“This is a very dramatic situation that is hitting the Kongsberg community hard. Events are shaking us. I understand that many are afraid,” she said.
How did the Kongsberg attack unfold?
Police said Wednesday evening that a person was seen shooting people with a bow and arrows in central Kongsberg, and warned people to stay inside.
On Thursday, they gave a chronological breakdown of their response.
Police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud said officers arrived at the scene minutes after the operations center received the first report, shortly after 6:12 p.m. local time.
They contacted the suspect, but he escaped and was not arrested until 6:47 p.m.
He said it was now “reasonably clear” that some, if not all, of the victims had been killed after the police arrived.
The suspect was apprehended about 30 minutes after the arrival of the first reports, after warning shots. He was taken to nearby Drammen police station.
“We will come back to a more detailed description of the course of events when we have a better overview of what happened,” said police inspector Øyvind Aas. “It goes without saying that this is a very serious and widespread situation.”
What do we know about the victims of the Kongsberg attack?
Police have confirmed that five people – four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70 – were killed in the incident.
Three other people were injured and are in intensive care in hospital. One of the injured was an off-duty policeman who was found in a supermarket, one of several locations where the attack took place in Kongsberg.
What do we know about the attack suspect?
Police said Wednesday night they had charged a man with the attack. He is a 37-year-old Danish citizen living in Kongsberg. On Thursday they named him Espen Andersen Bråthen.
“There had been concerns earlier about the radicalization of the man,” Saeverud said at a press conference Thursday morning.
Previously, law enforcement said they believed he was the only attacker and that there had been no active search for another attacker.
In a statement, the security agency PST said: “Attacks on random people in public places are a recurring modus operandi among extremist Islamists who commit terror in the West.”
He said “the most likely scenario” for such an attack in Norway “is an attack by one or a few perpetrators with simple weapon types, against targets with little or no security measures.”
What was the reaction to the attack?
New prime minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, who introduced his cabinet and took office on Thursday, called the attack “a cruel and brutal act” in comments to Norwegian news agency NTB.
People have “experienced that their safe local environment has suddenly become a dangerous place,” Norwegian King Harald V said on Thursday. least expect it, in the middle of everyday life in the middle of the street. “
Solberg, the outgoing Norwegian Prime Minister, said on Wednesday evening: “A man killed several people in Kongsberg and several are injured. Police confirm that the perpetrator has been arrested. As far as police are aware, the perpetrator was alone. It is important to stress that there is still a lot that we do not know. It is too early to say anything about the motive of these acts, but the police wonder if it s it is a terrorist act.
“The messages coming from Kongsberg tonight are horrible. The author committed horrific acts against several people. This is a very dramatic situation that hits the Kongsberg community hard. Events shake us.
“I understand that many are afraid. Therefore, it is important to stress that the police are now in control. Our thoughts are first and foremost with those affected and their loved ones.”
Massacres are rare in low-crime Norway, and the attack immediately drew comparisons to the country’s worst peacetime massacre a decade ago, when a right-wing national extremist killed 77 people with a bomb , a rifle and a pistol.