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Fortunately it seems as if no one has been killed...but I wonder who committed the bombing? Why does one suspect it as retaliation for the Muhammad cartoons? So much with "peace and tolerance"

Edit: it seems as if at least one person has been killed with scores injured.

Norway: Blast near prime minister's office in Oslo

The explosion caused damage to the offices of the Norwegian Prime Minister

 

A large explosion has hit near government headquarters in the Norwegian capital Oslo.

At least one person was killed in the city centre blast, national broadcaster NRK reports.

The offices of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg were damaged extensively but he was reportedly unharmed.

At least eight people were injured, local media said. No-one has said they were behind the explosion.

Television footage from the scene showed rubble and glass from shattered windows in the streets - smoke was around some buildings. The wreckage of at least one car was in street.

All roads into the city centre have been closed, said the NRK, and security officials evacuated people from the area, fearing another blast.

Oistein Mjarum, head of communications for the Norwegian Red Cross, said his offices were close to the site of the explosion.

"There was a massive explosion which could be heard over the capital Oslo," he told the BBC.

'Complete chaos'

Mr Mjarum said there were fires burning in the prime minister's 17-storey building.

"This is a very busy area on Friday afternoon and there was a lot of people in the streets, and many people working in these buildings that are now burning," he said.

Map

Eyewitness Ole Tommy Pedersen said he was standing at a bus stop about 100m away from the blast.

"I saw three or four injured people being carried out of the building a few minutes later," Mr Pedersen told AP.

He said there was a cloud of smoke billowing from the lower floors.

An NRK journalist, Ingunn Andersen, said the headquarters of tabloid newspaper VG had also been damaged.

"I see that some windows of the VG building and the government headquarters have been broken. Some people covered with blood are lying in the street," AP quoted her as saying.

"It's complete chaos here. The windows are blown out in all the buildings close by."

Mr Mjarum said people were in shock in Oslo and across Norway.

"We have never had a terrorist attack like this in Norway - if that's what it is - but of course this has been a great fear for all Norwegians when they have seen what has been happening around the world."

Are you in Oslo and did you see what happened? Get in touch and let us know if you witnessed this event. You can send eyewitness accounts using the form below.

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Comment by Adriana on July 22, 2011 at 12:57pm

Well, you'll have to apologize to the NYT, I did not write the article, only posted the info they have so far. The article mere;y gives a little background for Norway being a NATO member and they do highlight the cartoon incident too.

 

The tragedy of these situations is that it doesn't take much to carry out this type of attacks, it is sufficient to recruit a handful of bloodthirsty violent fanatics.

Comment by Sassan K. on July 22, 2011 at 12:46pm

I apologize if my tone came off sounding a little condescending there to your reply. This is just an important issue to me - so I apologize. I didn't mean to come out as that way.

Comment by Sassan K. on July 22, 2011 at 12:34pm

Foreign policy has no role in this event. Norway's role in Afghanistan is a non-fighting role as well - but terrorist attacks are the result of Islamicism - terrorist attacks didn't start after the liberatons of Afghanistan and Iraq (even if you don't consider 9 /11).

I suspect it to be due to "paying punishment to the Norwegian government for not stopping the cartoons" - we shall see. But these types of terrorist attacks have always been done by Islamists - esp. in a foreign European nation.

Comment by Adriana on July 22, 2011 at 12:02pm

From the NYT:

 

While Norway has seen little political violence in recent years, the country is a member of NATO alliance and has a small fighting contingent in Afghanistan. It was one of several countries cited by Ayman al-Zawahri, the Al Qaeda leader, as potential targets for attack. In 2006, Norwegian newspapers reprinted Danish cartoons that angered Muslims by lampooning the Prophet Muhammad. Norway has also historically been a frequent participant in peacekeeping missions and a host for diplomatic talks, including the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of the Norwegian parliament.

A Norwegian security analyst, who asked not to be named, said the country has historically been seen as at low risk from terrorism, but cautioned that the nature of the explosion was still not known.


Unfortunately, yes, the first thing that comes to mind is Islamic terrorism.

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