Breivik victim removed bullet and swam to safety

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14:05 CEST+02:00
Young Norwegians injured in Anders Behring Breivik's shooting rampage on Utøya island testified for the first time on Monday, describing how he calmly hunted them down, but also taunting the killer of 77 people.

"We won, he lost. Young Norwegians know how to swim," Frida Holm Skoglund, a slender 20-year-old, told the Oslo district court when asked if she had anything she wanted to say to Breivik, who was watching her testimony by video link from a separate room.

In a welcome change from the sobs that so often have filled Courtroom 250 since the trial of the 33-year-old right-wing extremist began on April 16th, Skoglund's words drew discreet laughter from the onlookers.

Visibly nervous, she told the court how she had been shot in the thigh last July 22nd, and how she herself had pulled out the bullet.

"A friend told me I had been hit in the thigh. I thought it was a joke, that it wasn't a real bullet," she said, her voice barely audible.

To escape Breivik, the young woman and several friends dived into the icy water surrounding the small, heart-shaped island, and she recalled seeing the killer, dressed as a police officer, standing on shore shooting at the people swimming away as he shouted: "Stop! Come back!"

Breivik has been charged with committing terrorist acts when he first bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, before shooting dead another 69 in the July 22nd rampage on Utøya, where the ruling Labour Party's youth wing was hosting a summer camp.

Most of the victims there were in their teens, the youngest having just celebrated her 14th birthday.

Breivik has confessed to the acts but has refused to plead guilty, insisting they were "cruel but necessary" to stop the Labour Party's "multicultural experiment" and the "Muslim invasion" of Norway and other European countries.

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While Breivik will surely be found guilty, his 10-week trial will help determine the tricky question of his sanity and whether he will be sent to prison or to a mental institution.

Two court-ordered evaluations have reached opposite conclusions, and it will be up to the five-judge panel to rule on the issue when they hand down their verdict in mid-July.

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