Five killed in Norway bow and arrow attack

A man armed with a bow and arrows killed five people and wounded two others in southeastern Norway on Wednesday, police said, adding they had arrested the suspect and could not rule out a terrorist motive.

Kongsberg, around 50 kilometres southwest of Oslo, where police arrested a man on October 13th after he killed several people using a bow.
Kongsberg is located around 50 kilometres southwest of Oslo. Screenshot: Google Maps

The attack took place in several locations in the town centre of Kongsberg, which lies around 80 km to the south west of Oslo, at around 6:30 pm.

“We can unfortunately confirm that there are several injured and also unfortunately several killed in this episode,” local police official Øyvind Aas told a news conference.

The attack started shortly before 6:30 pm (1600 GMT) and was described as covering a large part of Kongsberg includng a Coop supermarket. The suspect was arrested at 6:47 pm, police said.

Police confirmed that five people were killed and two others left wounded. 

“The man who committed this act has been arrested by the police and, according to our information, there is only one person involved.”

The motive for the attack was not yet known but police added that they could not rule out that it was an act of terrorism.

“Given how events unfolded, it is natural to assess whether this is a terrorist attack,” local police official Oyvind Aas told a news conference.

“The arrested man has not been interviewed and it is too early to say anything about his motives,” he added.

Norway’s intelligence service PST had been alerted, spokesman Martin Bernsen told AFP.

“It is all conjecture at the moment,” he said when asked about the possibility of a terrorist motive.

The TV2 station reported that the man also had a knife or other weapons.

Police said the suspect, who they say acted alone, had been taken to a police station in the nearby town of Drammen but gave no other details about the man.

“There is no active search for other people,” Aas said.

The mayor of Kongsberg Kari Anne Sand, told VG newspaper the attack was “a tragedy for all those involved.”

“We are doing all we can,” she added. “Right now it is a chaotic situation and there are a lot of rumours.”

The wounded have been taken to hospital. However, police have not said how many people were hurt or given details of their condition.

In a tweet, the South East Police District confirmed it had arrested a person following the attacks, which it described as a “serious incident”.

Police urged the public to stay at home and several neighbourhoods were cordoned off, with television footage showing ambulances and armed police in the area.

A helicopter and bomb disposal team were also sent to the scene.

The website of public broadcaster NRK published  an image sent by a witness of a black arrow sticking out of a wall.

Police were expected to hold another press conference at 10 pm.

Police in Norway are not normally armed, but after the attack the National Police Directorate ordered that officers be armed nationwide.

“This is an extra precaution. The police have no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level,” the directorate said in a statement.

Norway has traditionally been a peaceful nation but has suffered far-right attacks.

Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik carried out twin attacks that killed 77 people on July 22, 2011.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Norwegian police say 24 were targeted in Kongsberg attack

Norwegian police said on Wednesday that 24 people were now being treated as victims of a bow and arrow attack earlier this month in which five people were killed.

Police in Norway say 24 people were targeted in an attack in Kongsberg on October 13th. 5 were killed. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
Police in Norway say 24 people were targeted in an attack in Kongsberg on October 13th. 5 were killed. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

A man attacked members of the public in the town of Kongsberg west of Oslo on October 13th, firing arrows and attacking people at random in their homes.

Main suspect Espen Andersen Bråthen, a Dane living in Kongsberg, was arrested at the scene and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, with police believing mental illness is behind the attack.

“So far we have 24 victims in the case,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told a press conference, giving a total figure for the first time. 

He said the number included the five killed, three who were injured and 16 others who had been “subjected to different events”.

“These are typically attempted murders and attempted woundings, mostly those who were shot at with a bow and arrow,” he said, stressing that the number could change.

Omholt said police were “keeping the door open” on the motive for the attack.

Bråthen had previously said on social media he had converted to Islam, leading to speculation it was a jihadist attack.

But the investigation had “further weakened” the jihadist hypothesis, Omholt said, adding that it was unclear whether or not he had really converted to Islam.

READ ALSO: Norwegian police end emergency carrying of arms