Five dead in Norway bow and arrow attack

Updated: Nov 12, 2021


Four women and a man were killed and two others wounded when a man used a bow and arrow to attack them in Norway.

The suspect, a 37-year-old, is a Danish citizen who lives in the town, police said in a statement early Thursday. The suspect, who has not been named by police, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and transported to the nearby city of Drammen.

The victims were all aged between 50 and 70, regional police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud told reporters on Thursday morning.

Police first received word of an attack in the town of Kongsberg, south-west of the capital Oslo, at 18:12 local time (16:12 GMT). They added they had previously been in contact with him over fears of radicalisation after he converted to Islam.

Speaking to media after the attack, Oyvind Aas, police chief of the county seat Drammen, said authorities had not ruled out the possibility of a terror attack.

"From the course of events, it is natural to consider whether this is an act of terrorism.

"However, the apprehended person has not been questioned, and it is therefore too early to say anything about this and what was the person's motivation," he said.

The suspect moved over a large area, and authorities cordoned off several parts of the town. Residents were ordered to stay indoors so authorities could examine the scene and gather evidence. Surrounding gardens and garages were searched with the help of sniffer dogs.

Norway's outgoing justice minister Monica Maeland told reporters the police did not yet know whether or not it was act of terrorism and could not comment on details emerging about the suspect.

Speaking at a news conference in Oslo, the country's outgoing Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, described the developments in Kongsberg as "gruesome" and promised "all necessary resources" were being deployed.

"The perpetrator has carried out horrific acts against several people. It is a very dramatic situation that has hit Kongsberg society hard, and the events shake us all," she said.

The attack comes on the eve of a new government, after the long-ruling Conservative Party lost last month's parliamentary elections. Labour leader Jonas Gahr Store is due to assume the role of Prime Minister on Thursday.

In a Facebook post, Store described the attack as a "cruel and brutal act."

"My thoughts and deepest sympathy now go to those affected, their families, and to the police, health personnel and aid workers who are now working full time to provide an overview and assist those who need help," he said.

The attack was Norway's deadliest since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 people, most of them at a children's Labour Party summer camp on the island of Utoya in July 2011.

In August 2019, another man stormed an Oslo mosque armed with guns before being overpowered. That year, the country's intelligence service reported that right-wing terrorism was on the rise globally, and warned that the country would likely be targeted in the near future.