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Kongsberg attacker killed victims with ‘sharp object’

Norwegian police said Monday that the five victims of last week's attack were killed by a "sharp object" used by the suspect, not a bow and arrows.

The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

“At some point he discarded or lost his bow and arrows,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters.

He said that during the attack on Wednesday the suspect killed “five people with a sharp object both in private addresses and in public spaces”.

Police, who had previously said that the suspect Espen Andersen Brathen was armed with a bow and arrows and two other weapons, did not specify the nature of the sharp weapons, adding that they were still interviewing witnesses.

“Everything points to the victims being selected at random,” Omholt said.

According to the police, more than 10 people were also shot at with arrows at the start of the attack, but none were killed with this weapon.

READ MORE: Norway police query Kongsberg attacker’s Muslim faith

During police questioning, Brathen has confessed to the killings and to wounding three others.

The 37-year-old Danish citizen has announced publicly that he is a convert to Islam and initially police reported that there had been fears of radicalisation.

He is however being kept in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Brathen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

“As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” Omholt added.

On Saturday, police announced the identities of the five victims, four women and one man: Andrea Meyer, 52, Hanne Merethe Englund, 56, Liv Berit Borge, 75, Gunnar Erling Sauve, 75 and Gun Marith Madsen, 78.

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KONGSBERG ATTACK

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

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