New information from Norwegian police has made clear the real scale of a shooting at a youth gathering on Utoya Island in Norway: more than 80 dead and dozens wounded.
A gunman disguised as a police officer started shooting on Utoya Island just outside Oslo, where youth were attending a Labor Party conference. Many ran for their lives, some jumping into the water in an attempt to reach the mainland. Law enforcement officials say the consequences of the attack are catastrophic: at least 80 lives lost, and dozens more wounded. The police did not rule out that there might be more victims.
Locals who tried to rescue some of the injured claimed they saw dozens of bodies in the water.
Undetonated explosives were also found on the island, where some 700 teenagers had gathered for a political rally.
Police managed to arrest the gunman, who appeared to be a tall and blonde Norwegian. Later it was confirmed that the arrested man is a Norwegian citizen.
Police confirmed that despite the uniform, the hitman was not one of theirs. They also believe the Oslo bomb blast and youth camp shooting are connected, according to NTB.
British Sky news is reporting unconfirmed information that the arrested shooter is 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik. Norway’s TV2 channel says Brevik is closely linked to rightwing extremists and could not be connected to any terrorist or radical Islam movement, labeling him a madman.
Meanwhile, an eyewitness told Norway’s NRK broadcaster that he saw more than 20 bodies at the Utoya youth camp shooting, the Associated Press reported.
NRK reported that a bomb was found in a car on Utoya Island possibly belonging to the shooter.
“We now have reports of a serious situation there – a critical situation on Utoya,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told TV2.
An eyewitness to the shooting who was on the mainland at the moment declared: “There is a little war going on out there,” The Guardian newspaper reported.
Labor Party spokesman Per Gunnar Dahl told the AP that “there has been an incident where a man dressed in a police uniform started shooting among the youngsters on the island. This created a panic situation where people started to swim from the island.”
The police are now onsite and have sealed off the area.