At least five people were killed Wednesday d attack from a man with a bow and arrows in the town of Kongsberg in Norway, the authorities say.
Norwegian police said they would investigate whether the attack constituted an act of terrorism. “It is natural to consider whether this was an act of terrorism,” the city’s police chief Oyvind Aas told reporters.
He confirmed that the attacks took place over “a large area” of the city with about 28,000 people, about 70 kilometers southwest of the capital Oslo. He also said the suspect appeared to be acting alone and was arrested by police. A large number of police officers, helicopters, dogs and armed response teams were dispatched to secure the area, Aas said.
Police said on Thursday that the arrested 37-year-old Danish citizen is suspected of having killed five people. Police said they provided information about the man’s nationality, after rumors swirled on social media about people not linked to the attacks.
The police chief in the community Kongsberg, near the capital of Oslo, said that there was “a confrontation” between officers and the assailant, but he did not elaborate. Two other people were injured and admitted to intensive care, including an officer who was outside the guard and inside the store where the attack took place, police said.
“Many resources were sent from several places, including the Oslo police district, the bomb squad, the national police and the emergency team,” Aas told reporters. “They secure the various crime scenes. We have many witnesses to interview, “he told The Guardian.
Acting Prime Minister Erna Solberg described the attack as “cruel” and said it was too early to speculate on a motive. The designated prime minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, who is expected to take office on Thursday, called the attack “a cruel and brutal act” in comments to the Norwegian news agency NTB.
Kongsberg mayor Kari Anne Sand, who spoke to the newspaper VG, described the attack as “a tragedy for all those involved.” She said the municipality has set up a crisis team at a hotel to help those affected.
Shortly after the attack, Norway’s National Police Directorate ordered officers across the country to carry firearms. Norwegian police officers do not normally carry firearms, but have access to weapons and rifles when necessary.
Mass killings are rare in Norway. The country’s worst massacre in peacetime was on July 22, 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Breivik set off a bomb in the capital of Oslo, killing eight people.
Then he went to the small Utoya island, where he persecuted most of the teenagers in the youth wing of the Labor Party and killed another 69 victims.
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, maximum according to Norwegian law, but his term can be extended as long as he is considered a danger to society.
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