OSLO, Norway (AP/The Huffington Post) -- A Norwegian who dressed as a police officer to gun down summer campers killed at least 80 people at an island retreat, horrified police said early Saturday. It took investigators several hours to begin the realize the full scope of Friday's massacre, which followed an explosion in nearby Oslo that killed seven and that police say was set off by the same suspect.
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The mass shootings are among the worst in history. With the blast outside the prime minister's office, they formed the deadliest day of terror in Western Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings killed 191.
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.
"It's taken time to search the area. What we know now is that we can say that there are at least 80 killed at Utoya," Maeland said. "It goes without saying that this gives dimensions to this incident that are exceptional."
Maeland said the death toll could rise even more. He said others were severely injured, but police didn't know how many were hurt.
A suspect in the shootings and the Oslo explosion was arrested. Though police did not release his name, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK identified him as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik and said police searched his Oslo apartment overnight. NRK and other Norwegian media posted pictures of the blond, blue-eyed Norwegian.
National police chief Sveinung Sponheim told NRK that the suspected gunman's Internet postings "suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views, but whether that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen."
A police official said the suspect appears to have acted alone in both attacks, and that "it seems like that this is not linked to any international terrorist organizations at all." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that information had not been officially released by Norway's police.
"It seems it's not Islamic-terror related," the official said. "This seems like a madman's work."
The official said the attack "is probably more Norway's Oklahoma City than it is Norway's World Trade Center." Domestic terrorists carried out the 1995 attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City, while foreign terrorists were responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The official added, however, "it's still just hours since the incident happened. And the investigation is going on with all available resources."
Calling himself a crusader against a tide of Islam in a rambling 1,500-page online manifesto, the 32-year-old mass murderer wants the opportunity to explain actions he deemed 'atrocious, but necessary'.
Lawyer Geir Lippestad said his client had admitted to Friday's shootings at a Labour youth camp and a bomb that killed seven people in Oslo's government district, but that he denies any criminal guilt.
CNN says authorities report that the suspect said he acted alone. Norway's king held memorial services for those grieving victims of the attacks.
The man accused of killing at least 93 people in Norway has said he carried out the bombing and mass shooting, authorities said Sunday, as an ashen-faced and openly weeping King Harald V led the nation in mourning.
The suspect has not pleaded guilty, and said he acted alone with no accomplice, acting National Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told reporters Sunday.
BreakingNews reports that the suspect was not out of ammo when he surrendered.
|@ BreakingNews : Police: Suspect in Norway attacks still hada lot of ammunition when he surrendered - AP|
Reuters reports that a police guard was supposed to be on the island when attacks occured:
|@ REUTERSFLASH : Norwegian police say a police guard had been due to be on island hit by attacks, but unsure where he was|
It took the police 90 minutes to respond to the massacre on Utoya island.
Police arrived at an island massacre about an hour and a half after a gunman first opened fire, slowed because they didn't have quick access to a helicopter and then couldn't find a boat to make their way to the scene just several hundred yards (meters) offshore. The assailant surrendered when police finally reached him, but 82 people died before that.
A few horrific first-person reports of the shooting on Utoya Island are emerging this evening.
Here, survivors describe the two hours of terror they endured.
They are running from the approaching gunman, his "POLICE" moniker crystal-clear to see from even middle distance.
"My first thought was: Why are the police shooting at us? What the hell?" she writes.
More than a dozen crowd into a dark corner of a camp building, and all lie down on the floor. She cries quietly – then sees her best friend from camp, a boy, through a window.
"I wondered if I should go out and bring him to me. I did not. I saw fear in his eyes," she writes.
And from the New York Times:
There was little shelter or chance for those caught back on the island. Witnesses told Norwegian news agencies that the shooter sprayed bullets into piles of dead bodies, apparently seeking those that were hiding among them. On Saturday night, the authorities knew that 85 had been killed, and still sought bodies in the water, or in an unchecked corner of Utoya.
“He seemed he was enjoying it” Magnus Stenseth, a youth leader, told the Norwegian newspaper VG. “He walked around the island as if he had absolute power.”
The man suspected of a gun and bomb attack in Norway has called his deeds atrocious yet necessary, his defense lawyer said on Saturday.
"He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary," defense lawyer Geir Lippestad told TV2 news.
Lippestad said his client had said he was willing to explain himself in a court hearing on Monday.
Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian man charged in the bombing and shootings in Norway's capital and a nearby island Friday that left at least 92 people dead, has admitted to the crimes, his lawyer told Norwegian radio late Saturday.
Gier Lippestad, Mr. Breivik's lawyer, told Norwegian public radio NRK that Mr. Breivik admits to having killed 92 people on Friday and has told police of the circumstances.
Here is a photo from a now deleted YouTube video possibly uploaded by alleged shooter Anders Breivik in which he's pictured with an automatic weapon.
Norwegian journalist Ketil Stensrud has posted a link on his Twitter account where people can download the gunman's manifesto, in which, Stensrub tweets "he gives detailed account of planned attack."
Candles and flowers left to mourn the victims are placed near the site of the Oslo bombing.
Pope Benedict expressed sympathy Saturday for the victims and urged Norwegians to resist hatred and conflict.
A police official tells the AP that the bomb used in the attack was "some kind of Oklahoma City-type" device made of fertilizer and diesel fuel.
Norway's King Herald on the attacks: "I remain convinced that the belief in freedom is stronger than fear."
Al Jazeera reports: Norwegian police have not recommended raising the terrorism threat level.
Al Jazeera reports that police have charged 32-year-old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik with killing 92 people in Friday's attacks.
Norwegian journalist Ketil Stensrud tweets:
Norwegian police confirm that the Utøya gunman were massacring people for 1 hour and 35 minutes before special forces arrived.
The Telegraph reports that a mini-submarine will be used to search in the waters off the island for more victims.
The paper also quotes police as saying that they believe the attacks had been planned "for a long time."
The Telegraph reports that police say the shooting suspect
"has confessed that he's been on Utoya, that he's had access to weapons, and that he's fired rounds." He's being interrogated at Oslo Police Station, in central Oslo.
Police say based on the statements from witnesses, they think there may have been more than one gunman.
Politico's Mike Allen tweets: "imagine the human terror there, and no cavalry: OSLO (AP) - Norway police say they arrived at island 45 minutes after shooting began there."
@Reuters reports: Norway attacks: Police say shooting suspect immediately surrendered when told to do so.
Reuters reports that 92 people have been confirmed dead in the Norway attacks.
|@ AP : BREAKING: Police in Norway detain man outside hotel where prime minister was visiting. -RAS #breakingnews|