A young survivor of self-confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik's massacre on a Norwegian island last July told his trial on Tuesday of her initial disbelief over the bloodbath unfolding in front of her eyes.
Published: 23 May 2012 10:41 CEST
Photo: NTB scanpix
"You would think it was a bad horror film," Eirin Kristin Kjær testified on the 22nd day of Breivik's trial for the killing of 77 people on July 22, 2011.
Today aged 20, the young woman explained how she had fled when she heard the first shots and how a bullet had gone through her jumper but missed her.
But as she hid with others among the big boulders on the shore, she agreed to change places with a friend who felt too exposed — something she said she was still glad she had done — and she was shot in the stomach.
"I felt like my stomach was exploding. It hurt like hell," said Kjær, who was also shot in the arm, the knee and the ribs that day.
Then she had started running again, shouting: "Please, don't shoot me! I don't want to die!" before in the end sitting down, resigned to her fate, not even bothering to try to stop her bleeding.
She was finally evacuated by boat, and has so far had to undergo 11 operations with yet more expected.
"Others will follow," she said, as Breivik looked on without showing any sign of emotion.
But 69 others who were taking part in the summer camp hosted by the ruling Labour Party's youth wing on that fateful day in July did not leave Utøya alive.
Espen Myklebust, a strapping lad of 18, meanwhile told the Oslo district court that he had first thought the shots were part of "a crazy drill."
But when he saw people frantically running in every direction and desperately calling their families, he like many others threw himself into the
icy water surrounding the small, heart-shaped island.
He was shot in the back but the wound turned out to be fairly superficial.
Not strong enough to cross the lake, he swam alongside the shore and then out to a boat not far from the island.
But the boat was already full with panicked youths, and Myklebust, who was exhausted, was given a life vest, and a friend held on to him until police
finally turned up and fished them out of the water.
Breivik, today 33, was "cold" and "his face was expressionless," Myklebust recalled.
"He was as calm as a person can be. He moved around as if nothing was happening," he said, but added that he had also seen the confessed killer
"A big smile," he said, adding that he had thought Breivik was a neo-Nazi because of his blond hair and the fact that he was targeting the Labour Party.
The right-wing extremist, who earlier on July 22nd had also bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, has confessed to the twin
attacks 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 Europe.
On Tuesday, three other Utøya survivors gave their harrowing accounts of the island massacre.
Shot five times, including once in the head, Viljar Hanssen, now 18, described the anxiety of being separated from his 14-year-old brother, and the
relief when he found out he had not been harmed.
In his emotional yet humour-filled testimony, Hanssen recalled how he had stayed alive by thinking about things he loved, like "girls and snow
scooters": "Death was not an option," he said.
Cathrine Trønnes Lie meanwhile told the court about the last time she saw her 16-year-old sister before Breivik shot and killed her.
They had given each other a thumbs-up and a broad smile to show all would be fine.
"All hell has broken loose," Trønnes Lie said, describing what she saw when she regained consciousness after herself being shot twice, with one bullet puncturing a lung, and looked up to see the carnage around her.
Another witness, an 18-year-old girl, meanwhile had many onlookers, including Breivik himself, smiling when she told the court she wanted to work
in psychiatric care or as a prison guard.
Depending on whether the court finds him criminally sane, the confessed killer will likely be spending the rest of his life either in a prison or in a
Viken and Vestland are this year’s most popular travel destinations for Norwegians planning a “staycation”. Young people were the most likely to want to remain in Norway this summer. Just under half of those aged between 18 and 29 said they wished to stay in Norway this summer.
Third of Utøya survivors have received abuse or threats
A third of Utøya survivors have been victims of hate speech or received threats, according to a new survey.
The massacre on Utøya was the second of two terror attacks carried out by Anders Breivik on July 22nd, 2011. Of the 69 people who died in the attack, 32 were under the age of 18.
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When asked whether Oslo City Council had gone too far in removing cars from the city centre, almost half said that they believed that this was the case.
“A change in the attitude around these measures may be due to more people feeling dependent on cars during the pandemic. There has been a lot of debate about measures that have been introduced or are planned to be introduced,” Heidi Sørensen, Director of the Climate Agency, told the Dagsavisen newspaper
Tighter Coronavirus measures in Trondheim
Gyms, museums and swimming pools have been closed, and alcohol service in hospitality has been stopped in Trondheim. The new measures come barely a week after restrictions were last tightened.
“We need to shut down most of Trondheim to get control. It is only days since we last tightened measures, but we are in a situation where we must take even stronger action,” Morten Wolden, the municipal director for Trondheim, told state broadcaster NRK.
Norway reports 292 new Covid-19 cases
On Monday, 292 new coronavirus infections were registered in Norway. This is a drop of 52 compared to the seven-day average of 344.
In Oslo, 48 cases were recorded, an increase of two on the capital’s seven day average of 46.
The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected, will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable.
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