Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Pakistan in mourning after school massacre

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Castro's hipster apologists want to keep Cuba authentically poor'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cuban Diaspora divided along generational lines

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

EU investment: Juncker's plan expected to generate €315bn

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Depardieu launches "Proud to be Russian" watch range

Read more

DEBATE

SPECIAL: US and Cuba Normalise Relations

Read more

ENCORE!

Forget Harry Potter, Jeff Kinney's 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' sells millions

Read more

FOCUS

Child migrants: no parents, no passports

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Thousands flee Libya and Nigeria to seek refuge in Niger

Read more

Europe

Deadly blast rocks prime minister’s office in Oslo

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-27

A huge explosion in downtown Oslo, thought to have been caused by a car bomb, has wreaked havoc on several government buildings, including Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's office. Norwegian media reported that at least two people were killed.

REUTERS - A massive bomb shattered Norway’s main government building in Oslo on Friday, killing two people police were quoted as saying by local news agency NTB.

There was no claim of responsibility, though NATO member Norway has been the target of threats, if not bombs, before, notably over its involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was safe, NTB said.

NRK radio said at least two people were killed in an attack that may have brought global political violence to the quiet Scandinavian city.

“It exploded—it must have been a bomb. People ran in panic and ran. I counted at least 10 injured people,” said bystander Kjersti Vedun, who was leaving the area.

A Reuters reporter at the scene said the blast scattered debris across the streets and shook the entire city centre around 3:30 p.m. (1330 GMT). He saw eight people injured, one covered in a sheet and apparently dead.

“So far I can confirm that we have received seven people at Oslo University Hospital,” a press officer at the clinic said.

“I don’t know how seriously wounded they are.”

The explosion blew out most of the windows of the 17-storey central government building, cast a huge pall of smoke over the city and scattered shards of metal and other debris for hundreds of metres.

Nearby ministries were also hit, including the oil ministry, which was on fire. Heavy debris littered the streets.

John Drake, senior risk consultant, at London-based consultancy AKE said: “It may not be too dissimilar to the terrorist attack in Stockholm in December which saw a car bomb and secondary explosion shortly after in the downtown area.

“That attack was later claimed as reprisal for Sweden’s contribution to the efforts in Afghanistan.”

The Reuters correspondent said the streets had been fairly quiet in mid-afternoon on a Friday in high summer, when many Oslo residents take vacation or leave for weekend breaks.

The tangled wreckage of a car was outside one building, as well as the damage to the buildings, appeared consistent to witnesses with that from car bombs.

Threats

NATO member Norway has sometimes in the past been threatened by leaders of al Qaeda for its involvement in Afghanistan. But political violence is virtually unknown in a country known for sponsoring the Nobel Peace Prize and mediating in international conflicts, including in the Middle East and Sri Lanka.

It has also taken part the NATO bombing of Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi has threatened to strike back in Europe.

David Lea, Western Europe analyst, at Control Risks said:
“There certainly aren’t any domestic Norwegian terrorist groups although there have been some al Qaeda-linked arrests from time to time. They are in Afghanistan and were involved in Libya, but it’s far too soon to draw any conclusions.”


 

Date created : 2011-07-22

  • NORWAY

    Three 'al Qaeda suspects' arrested over Norway bomb plot

    Read more

COMMENT(S)