A man armed with a bow and arrows on Wednesday killed five people and wounded two others in Kongsberg, southeastern Norway, before being arrested, according to the police. “The man used a bow and arrows […] in some of the attacks ”, explained in a press conference Oeyvind Aas, head of the local police, without specifying the motive of the attack. Police are investigating whether the attacker used other weapons, Aas added.
“The man who committed this act was detained by the police and according to what we know so far, there is only one person involved,” Aas pointed out. The attack took place in “a large area” of Kongsberg, a municipality of about 28,000 people, police said. According to some local media, the detainee began shooting the arrows from inside a supermarket of the Coop Extra chain, in the west of Kongsberg. The authorities ordered the rest of the clients to stay inside the center.
The Norwegian police have pointed out that the individual went through several areas attacking people before being arrested. The injured were taken to nearby hospitals and dozens of emergency vehicles such as ambulances, police cars and up to two helicopters traveled to the scene, according to local press.
“The information coming out of Kongsberg tonight is terrifying,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference. “I understand that many people are scared, but it is important to emphasize that the police are in control of the situation right now.” The police have immediately ordered all their agents in the country to carry weapons. Normally, the Norwegian police are unarmed, although they have access to pistols and rifles if they need them.
According to the tabloid VG, the Norwegian intelligence services (PST) have been informed of the facts, although the police still consider that it is too early to know if it is a terrorist attack. Norway’s Minister of Justice and Public Safety Monica Maeland is aware of what happened. The Kongsberg City Council has set up a reception center for those affected and has mobilized a crisis team to deal with the situation.
Join EL PAÍS now to follow all the news and read without limits
The attack comes ten years after Norway’s worst massacre. On July 22, 2011, Anders Breivik murdered 77 people. The author, an anti-Muslim neo-Nazi who claimed to act in the name of the fight against multiculturalism and the “Muslim invasion”, detonated a van bomb outside the government headquarters, leaving eight people dead. Later he was involved in a shooting in Utoya, a nearby island where a meeting of the youth section of the Labor Party was being held. There he murdered 69 adolescents who participated in this meeting.