At least five people have been killed and two injured in Norway by a man wielding a bow and arrows, police said Wednesday evening.
The attack began after 6 p.m. local time at a supermarket in the town of Kongsberg near the capital Oslo, where the suspect shot arrows at shoppers and passersby, a police spokesman said.
A man suspected of being the attacker has been arrested, and police are investigating his motive, according to Police Chief Øyvind Aas.
The two injured people, one of whom is an off-duty police officer who happened to be at the supermarket at the time of the attack, are being treated at a nearby hospital, Mr. Aas said. The suspect acted alone and hasn’t yet been questioned, he added.
“It is natural to consider whether it is an act of terrorism [but] it is too early to make any conclusions,” Mr. Aas said in a televised news conference.
He said the suspect was arrested about 30 minutes after police received the first report of the attack. Officers who made the arrest fired warning shots before apprehending the suspect, Mr. Aas said.
“We have been shaken by this incident…the reports coming in are gruesome,” Norway’s prime minister,
told reporters on Wednesday night.
Parts of Kongsberg, a ski resort, were cordoned off by police, and a tactical unit specializing in terrorist attacks and hostage situations was deployed. Helicopters circled above the town and dozens of ambulances were seen at what police said were numerous crime scenes.
Local media broadcast images of arrows embedded in walls of buildings or lying on the pavement where the attack unfolded.
Police officers across the country, who are normally unarmed, were ordered to carry guns while on duty after the attack. A police spokesman said the measure was a precaution and not a result of any intelligence about heightened risk levels.
Norway has restrictive gun-ownership laws that ban private possession of automatic weapons, but hunters and sport shooters are allowed to own certain types of handguns and rifles if they obtain a firearms license, which requires a clean police record.
Norway, one of the world’s most affluent and low-crime countries, has been hit by mass shootings in the recent past. In 2019, a gunman opened fire in a mosque near Oslo but no one was injured because worshipers quickly overpowered the man.
In 2011, far-right extremist
Anders Behring Breivik
killed 77 people in and around Oslo, most of them teenage attendees of a summer camp organized by a center-left party.
Write to Bojan Pancevski at [email protected]
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