A 37-year-old Danish citizen is suspected of killing five people in an archery attack in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg in a rare massacre in Norway, police said Thursday.
Two people, including a policeman on leave, were injured in Wednesday night’s attacks, which took place in different parts of the city, 68 km (42 miles) southwest of the capital, Oslo. “The police are giving this information because of all the rumors on social networks about people who are not linked to these very serious acts,” the police said in a statement in which they gave the nationality of the suspect but did not has not identified.
The suspect, who was apprehended, allegedly acted alone, police said. They didn’t say anything about a possible motive.
The death toll was the worst of all attacks in Norway since 2011, when far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers in a youth camp. The attacks lasted more than half an hour over a “large area” of Kongsberg, including a Coop Extra grocery store, according to the Aftenposten newspaper citing police.
A woman living near the store said she heard alarms as she walked home. “I saw a group of police officers, including one with several arrows in his hand,” the woman, Marit Hoefle, told the newspaper.
Investigators question whether the attacks constituted an act of terrorism and said they would give a more detailed account of the incident later on Thursday. Police were questioning the suspect and he was cooperating, his defense attorney said.
“He is cooperating and making detailed statements regarding this event,” lawyer Fredrik Neumann told state broadcaster NRK. Bow and arrows were used in at least several of the attacks, police said, adding that they were investigating whether another weapon was used.
Footage from one of the crime scenes showed an arrow that appeared to be stuck in the wall of a wood-paneled building. About 28,000 people live in the municipality of Kongsberg.
Following the attacks, the police leadership said they had ordered officers across the country to carry firearms. Norwegian police are not normally armed, but officers have access to weapons when needed.
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