Added by Erik West on July 22, 2011
(Developing Story – Updates at end of article)
A huge explosion, possibly caused by a car bomb, occurred on Friday near government offices in Oslo. Oslo’s prime minister’s office was damaged, yet is reported to be safe.
Oslo police report many deaths, although have confirmed two deaths at this time. Windows in office buildings and store fronts in the area have been destroyed, leaving the area littered with debris in injured people.
Police report that there are possibly unexploded bombs in the area with roads to the city centre blocked or closed.
There are preliminary reports about possible talk about an attack directed at the Ministry of Oil and Energy and it is thought that the bomb was detonated between the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry.
The attack comes just days after Norwegian prosecutors filed a terrorism-related charge against Mullah Krekar, founder of Ansar al-Islam – Kurdish Islamist group. Mullah Krekar is accused of threatening a former minister, Erna Solberg, with death.
Mullah Krekar is reported to have said, “Norway will pay a heavy price for my death. If, for example, Erna Solberg deports me and I die as a result, she will suffer the same fate.”
It is not clear whether Friday’s attack is related to the threat.
Unconfirmed reports of shots fired in the area via Twitter, “shots being fired at “youth” near gov building in #Oslo” and “shootings now by person disguised as police” via Twitter.
Conflicting report via Twitter : “There is NO OPEN FIRE in Utoya. ONE shot was fired, not several and nobody is injured”
Shooting occurred on the island of Utoeya and a suspect has been arrested. Norwegian police say they believe there is a connection between the Oslo bombing and shootings on the island of Utoeya at a Labour party youth camp. The gunman at Utoeya was disguised as a police officer.
Update as of 23:48 GMT – Police identified the shooter as Anders Behring Breivik, aged 32.
Norwegian police confirm a link between today’s earlier bombing and the shooting on the island of Utoeya at a Labour party youth camp; one suspect is in custody.
The United States, European Union, NATO and the U.K., all quickly condemned the bombing, which Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague called “horrific” and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen deemed a “heinous act.”
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Heide Bronke Fulton called the violence “despicable.”