Explosions in Oslo, shootings on Utøya

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Original poster
I'm sure most people have heard about this by now. But if not, this ought to get you up to speed.


There's no accurate death toll yet, but the numbers are set to increase from the current number of 17. This page is updated frequently with new information from multiple sources, including Norway's NRK.


This page more outlines what happened. Included is a nice photo of the suspect in both incidents.

Personally, I'm just in a bit of shock. Never thought I'd ever see a terror attack on Norway. I'm still waiting to hear back from a couple friends in Oslo. I don't think they'd have any need to be near the government buildings in Oslo, but you never really know where life takes you.

OSLO, Norway — A homegrown terrorist set off a deadly explosion in downtown Oslo before heading to a summer camp dressed as a police officer to commit one of the deadliest shooting sprees in history, killing at least 80 people as terrified youths ran and even swam for their lives, police said Friday.

Police initially said about 10 were killed at the forested camp on the island of Utoya, but some survivors said they thought the toll was much higher. Police director Oystein Maeland told reporters early Saturday they had discovered many more victims.
I've been following this since yesterday. A video of the shoreline in Utoya (WARNING, extremely graphic):


Blog post from one of the survivors (translated in to English):

I'm still in shock. Just got home. Was driven home by Prableens father from Sundvollen hotell.
I'm actually still in shock. I can't get a single tear out. I can't believe it: Today I actually almost got killed. Hunted down and killed.

What can I say? The last normal thought I had was about the student organization in AUF. I had just been to a political workshop (it's what we're doing here on Utøya) - and I was on my way up to the AUF-store where I had "guard" duty

A good friend of mine came over and told me about the explosion that had occurred somewhere in Oslo. Sick! The government block and Youngstorget?! (place close by). A lot of people were concerned. The mood was, mildly put, not good, many thought that this was Utøyas worst moment this year, but then more happened. I had a lump in my throat. The biggest one ever.

We were first called to a information meeting with the leaders so that everyone got the same, and correct, information. This meeting was useful and went well. Almost everyone got hold of their family members in Oslo and got to check if everyone was alive.

I didn't get hold of my family for a very long time! When I finally did get confirmation that three of them weren't in Oslo, and the last one was far from the city center - then I could breathe. Properly. I went down to the AUF store. The general secretary Tonje Brenna came over and talked to me. Asked if I needed someone to talk to. Then we heard shots from down the hill. Who the fuck is kidding now, we thought? Who could possibly believe that this wasn't a joke. Suddenly all the guys on guard duty are running up the hill and shouting "hide!" "Run into the main building" etc. I ran into the outdoors toilet at the AUF store. The shots got closer. I was very sure this was all some kind of prank, but you can't be sure, this day had proven that much. The seconds spent inside that toilet were hell. Slowly buy surely I put my cellphone to vibration(no sound) and I put it in my bra so that I wouldn't loose it. I put my purse on the floor. When I finally heard the voice of someone I knew, I stepped outside.

But it wasn't over. We had to run past the NATO toilet (as it was called) and down towards the corner, the right side of the dock. We fell through a lot of bushes and big stones and I got a lot of cuts. We were a group of about 15-20 persons maybe. I was stressed. Matti held me and calmed me down.

We ran and ran. The worst part was when we found out he was dressed as a cop: The guy shooting was dressed a chop. Fuck. Who can we trust then? If we call the police - that's the guy that will come to check on things?

But we tried to call the cops! They used a fuckton of time. I gave my phone to Munir and told him to update facebook, tell everyone with a boat to help us.

We ran back and forth when the shots got closer. Matti said we had to swim. But how could I manage that, it was sooo far.

Trond Agnar sudden showed up. He said many had tried to swim, but they had ended up swimming back because it was too cold, too long, too hard. But you know what? I'd rather drown than be shot. Sorry. I took of my shirt and with some encouragement Matti I started swimming. It started to get heavy so I had to take of my pants. It was freeeezing.

I swam. Matti saved me. He said the right things and did the right tings. He got me to swim - SO long. When we had been swimming for a while Matti said "Kamzy, dont look back. Look straight forward to that piece of land and think about how that's your goal.

"Ok" I said. We heard shots all the time, and I'm still surprised Matti and I didn't get hit.

(I found out afterwards that he stood there. That was the reason Matti told me to look straight ahead. He was standing right where we had been hiding a few minutes ago. Oh my god! And he tried to shoot us. We were being hunted.)

I kept swimming. Then a few boats came and saved us. One of the boats threw out lifesaving vests and then had to go away. The next boat then came and saved us. Even though we were in the boat, I couldn't relax. It was none of the "Yes, we've been saved"-spirit. He can still hit us with his machine gun! I sat down on the deck immediately. I didn't feel safe. Not at all.

Some of the people living there helped us when we got to the shore. They gave us towels and drove us to a gas station where the police and the paramedics were waiting. I was in shock. Couldn't press out a single tear. I still haven't realized what has happened?

Sunganthan came over to me with my cellphone and was sorry that it didn't work anymore. Dear Sunganthan, I'm just happy you're alive!

Anniken Huitfeldt (she's the minister of culture) called me and talked to me. I didn't know who owned the phone, there was just a girl who came over and said Anniken wants to talk. I asked her: "Why the fuck did the police take such a long time to arrive?" She agreed. And tried to calm me, and ask me what had happened.

There was a really nice girl who worked there that gave us warm clothes and something warm to drink. I also got to call my dad. I'm glad he can handle such things a bit calmly - although he was very distressed.

And then we went onwards to Sundvollen hotel where everyone was supposed to meet. We registered and gathered up.

We were the first who got there. And therefore we could see people coming in one by one, crying their eyes out. I understand them very well. I just didn't understand, and still can't understand, why I couldn't get a single tear out. I wanted out of this this state of shock I'm still in. I want out of here. I rode home to my dad with Prableen.

I'm still in shock. Who does something like this? Blows up important buildings in Oslo and kills the future politicians of the labour party who are just attending a summer camp. What wrong have we done?!

Those who ressort to violence have run out of arguments. How could he do what he did to my AUF friends? This seems so surreal. I don't get it. I don't understand.

I recommend everyone go watch the press conference with Jens Stoltenberg and Knut Storberget

"None shall bomb us to silence. None shall shoot us to silence" - Jens Stoltenberg says this, and I couldn't agree more.

First and foremost all my thoughts go out the loved ones. This is when we take care of each other. Support and lift each other upwards. Comfort one and other. And show the most loving part of ourselves.

But I'm still in shock. And that's why I'm writing this blog. I can't tel the story over and over again. This is what happened to me in a short summary. To me. But the fear that was there all the time... I don't think I'm able to put it into words. We were given messages about who were shot and killed on the fly, but I have left this out due to respect for those who are dead. They deserve better.

We don't deserve to die either. And that is why I'm writing this blog. We're just regular youth. We're interested in politics. We want to make the world a better place - I missed the part where WE became the bad guys

Thinking about everyone who was out there on the island.

I really hope everyone makes it. You deserve better.

It was important for me to get this out. It IS important.

And a post from another forum that I am a member of (I included this simply because he makes a lot of amazing points regarding the situation, especially when many of the other members wanted retribution and revenge for the killings)

On July 23 2011 20:41 Aylear wrote:
If I may, I want to briefly give some opinions on how we as a nation have handled this thus far. Some of you may have read my post in the other thread (my reply here), and this is a bit of clarification and some more of the same.

It may surprise some of you - especially if you live in the United States, where sensationalism and fear drives the news - to know that the government, the police department, and the media have all been very honest and straightforward in covering this tragedy, and that the people of Norway remain calm and composed (if a lot more sombre than usual) despite the enormity of the tragedy.

For instance, after the explosion and the early reports of the shooting on Utøya, the news simply recycled what they had previously stated: That a bomb had exploded in or near a government office building, that there was a related shooting in a political youth camp on Utøya, and that people had been killed in both of these cases. The ticker line at the bottom of the screen wasn't some quote from a news anchor or the prime minister -- it was the phone number for a hotline offered to the families of the victims.

From the first, there was no public outcry of, how did this happen, how did you let this happen, who is responsible for this travesty. There was no speculation or debate, no expert-witness criticism of foreign or domestic policy, no guesswork. In fact, when an Islamic extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, few newspapers even deigned it worthy of mention -- the claim was either ignored completely, or there was a small notice buried under other headlines dealing with the actual facts.

At the end of the day, it seems that this was the correct approach: The entire tragedy now appears to be the work of one individual, who in fact had anti-Islamic views. Planned, yes, and executed with chilling efficiency, but to muddy the waters with sensationalist guesswork like some news channels in the UK, the US, and elsewhere did before they even had any of the facts in hand is the kind of thing that can partially obfuscate the actual events in retrospect, especially for onlookers abroad that by nature get a more peripheral glance. In that regard, I am very impressed with how the aftermath has been handled locally.

Later yesterday evening, the prime minister and the minister of justice held a press conference. It was excellently handled. The prime minister, his expression stoic, opened by saying that this abhorrent event will not bring Norway down; that we will be able to remain proud of our strong democracy, and that the open discourse and debate on every topic - no matter how controversial that topic may be - which has been a staple of our freedom of speech, will remain intact -- that we will not be cowed into silence, and that our politics should become even more open in the aftermath, as that is the correct response when faced with this kind of terror.

He also stated that the first priority over the coming days is to save lives, and to provide medical aid to the victims. Later on, there will be further statements as regards to the perpetrator, but for the moment the focus is completely on providing immediate aid.

The media questions at the press conference were of a similar nature: Who is this man, has he given a motive for his actions, what will you do in the coming days, can you clarify this one small thing. Very to the point. And, again, worth of note and admiration: When asked his opinion on the alleged claim of responsibility by the Islamic extremist group, the prime minister said simply, "These groups often claim responsibility for actions they had nothing to do with in an attempt to seem more capable than they really are." It was a great response.

All in all, I admire how the aftermath of this terrible incident was dealt with, and how open and honest the police, the government, and (most of all) the media have been in reporting this obscenity to us and the rest of the world.


To switch topics a bit, I've noticed that some people appear to be baffled at our justice system. I will address this briefly by taking on this composite quote:

"He deserves to fry. Norway's justice system is retarded for giving him decent living conditions for the rest of his life."

Really? Killing this human being would bring back the other human beings? Would it lessen the blow of our loss? Most Norwegians don't see it that way; we don't agree with this biblical desire for vengeance. Granted, in this particular case I'm sure some Norwegians will feel differently, but we aren't going to completely alter our justice system for just one man. Even this depraved individual will not get that dubious honour.

Our justice system is one of rehabilitation and reintroduction to society. Those individuals who are simply too damaged to ever be released (of which there are very few) are simply imprisoned for life. Bad people, yes, but still human beings. We won't publicly kill a fellow human being just because we feel like it, out of some desire for revenge. How is that any better than killing someone over an ideological viewpoint? Both are abhorrent. Both are murder.

As for us having a "retarded" justice system? While you were reading about the appallingly decent living conditions provided to our prison population and the leniency granted to our criminals, you should have also looked up some numbers, namely the per capita crime rate and the number of repeat offenders. In both cases, that number is extremely low. The justice system is working a hell of a lot better than that of most countries.

Lastly, the comment that the political youth camp equals indoctrination and likening it to Hitler-Jugend is so ignorant and insulting that I don't even want to tarnish the English language by crafting a response to it, but I'll call it out anyway in order to prevent its propagation as anything but drivel: The young men and women who suffered this living nightmare yesterday were nothing more than enthusiastic youths who were personally and voluntarily interested and engaged in politics, young men and women who take an interest in and care about how the government runs their home.

So, with all that said, how is our country failing again? Please, let us know -- we desperately need to improve our standing in the Human Development Index. Seriously, can we at least agree that this misguided socialist country of ours appears to be doing something right?


I'll end on a much more optimistic note. I mentioned this in my previous post as well, but it's worth repeating: Shortly after the call went out for blood donors, hospitals had to start publicly declining offers from further donors because they had already acquired more than enough of even the rarer blood types. That's how quickly Oslo responded. I think I'm more happy about that than anything else.
This guy is good, and even looks like celebrity material. It's terrifying.

If another similar act of slaughter is perpetrated in the near future, I may as well be shitting myself.