NATIONAL SECURITY

Huge Explosion Hits Oslo, Norway

July 22, 2011, 6:11 a.m.

Up­dates:

10:25 - From the As­so­ci­ated Press: At least 80 were killed in the at­tack on the youth camp.

2:25 - Via USA Today, Pres­id­ent Obama’s re­sponse: “After a meet­ing with New Zea­l­and Prime Min­is­ter John Key, Obama said the at­tacks are the latest re­mind­er that the world has a com­mon duty to stop ter­ror­ism.”

2:04 - From the BBC, Oistein Mjar­um, the head of com­mu­nic­a­tions at the Nor­we­gi­an Red Cross: “We fear the worst but we have no con­firmed de­tails of cas­u­al­ties or the num­ber of dead.”

1:59 - Re­u­ters, via the BBC, says sol­diers “have taken up po­s­i­tion around cent­ral Oslo.”

1:52 - Con­trary to pre­vi­ous re­ports that four people had been killed in the Utoya Is­land shoot­ings near Oslo, Break­ing News re­lays: “Oslo po­lice say can­not con­firm any­one was killed at La­bour Party youth camp shoot­ing; Nor­we­gi­an TV re­por­ted sev­er­al killed.”

1:46 - The down­town Oslo bomb­ing and the Utoya Is­land shoot­ings are now be­ing linked. From CNN: “Po­lice tell Nor­wei­gi­an broad­caster they have reas­on to be­lieve shoot­ings at youth camp and ex­plo­sion in Oslo are linked.”

1:42 pm EST - Re­u­ters, via Sky News, up­dates the death toll from the down­town Oslo bomb­ing: 7 people killed. In the Utoya Is­land shoot­ings (20 miles from Oslo), Sky News had pre­vi­ously noted that four had been killed.

1:38 - The U.S. State De­part­ment con­demned the at­tacks and also offered as­sist­ance to Nor­we­gi­an au­thor­it­ies, ac­cord­ing to a spokes­per­son speak­ing with the AFP.

1:34 - The Guard­i­an points to this video be­low, which is al­legedly of the second, pos­sible ex­plo­sion in down­town Oslo: The Guard­i­an now writes (up­dated 2:10 pm EST): “This post has been re­moved be­cause the video ap­pears to be fake (thanks to all who poin­ted this out).” The video was of a pur­por­ted second ex­plo­sion in down­town Oslo.

1:29 - The New York Times notes that Muslim lead­ers in Nor­way have re­spon­ded quickly to deny any spec­u­la­tion they were in­volved in the at­tacks. “This is our home­land, this is my home­land; I con­demn these at­tacks and the Is­lam­ic Coun­cil of Nor­way con­demns these at­tacks, who­ever is be­hind them,” said Me­htab Af­sar, Sec­ret­ary Gen­er­al of Is­lam­ic Coun­cil of Nor­way.

1:19 pm EST - More on the Utoya Is­land shoot­ings: BBC News is re­lay­ing from Nor­we­gi­an TV that “one per­son has been ar­res­ted at the La­bour Party” meet­ing. Pre­vi­ously, the gun­man had been de­scribed by The Guard­i­an as a man dis­guised as a po­lice of­ficer.

1:15 - It ap­pears that a group has claimed re­spons­ib­il­ity for the Oslo bomb­ing: “an un­known group called ‘Help­ers of the Glob­al Ji­had’ have pos­ted a mes­sage that this is only the be­gin­ning of the re­ac­tion to Nor­we­gi­an peri­od­ic­als pub­lish­ing the Muhammed car­toons, ac­cord­ing to An­drew Boyle, a journ­al­ist in Nor­way,” The Guard­i­an re­ports. Also flag­ging the group was The Tele­graph.

1:06 - From the Utoya Is­land shoot­ing 20 miles away from the down­town Oslo bomb­ings: “Many people are in­jured,” ac­cord­ing to the Nor­we­gi­an State broad­caster, NRK, cited by CNN.

12:51 - Sky News writes that four people have been killed dur­ing shoot­ings at rul­ing La­bour party youth meet­ing on Utoya Is­land, Nor­way. Re­u­ters re­lays from Nor­we­gi­an TV that five were in­jured in the shoot­ing. Pre­vi­ously, The Guard­i­an had re­por­ted that a man dis­guised as a po­lice of­ficer was fir­ing shots at this youth meet­ing. “Utoya Is­land is roughly 20 miles north­w­est of Oslo,” ex­plains The Tele­graph.

12:36 - Sum­mary of re­ports we’ve seen so far: a large ex­plo­sion (pos­sibly two) hit gov­ern­ment of­fice build­ings hous­ing Prime Min­is­ter Jens Stol­ten­berg in down­town Oslo, Nor­way. ABC News sources said it was due to a car bomb. The prime min­is­ter and his staff have been re­por­ted safe. The cur­rent cas­u­alty tally from po­lice is two dead, 15 wounded. In the af­ter­math of the ex­plo­sions there have been mul­tiple re­ports of sus­pi­cious pack­ages and shots be­ing fired by a man dis­guised as a po­lice of­ficer at a youth meet­ing near Oslo. The live re­sources we’re fol­low­ing in­clude: Re­u­ters, The Guard­i­an, BBC News, CNN’s This Just In, The Tele­graph, and Break­ing News. Live video can be found here.

12:21 - There’s been mul­tiple re­ports of shoot­ings in the af­ter­math of the bomb­ings. From BBC News, re­lay­ing Re­u­ters: “Po­lice say some shots have been fired at a youth meet­ing in Oslo.” And The Guard­i­an: “A man dis­guised as a po­lice of­ficer began shoot­ing where prime min­is­ter Jens Stol­ten­berg was at­tend­ing a La­bour party con­fer­ence at Utoya, Stol­ten­berg has just con­firmed.”

12:13 - Via Break­ing News, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports from Oslo po­lice that the “of­fice of broad­caster TV2 has been sealed off be­cause of sus­pi­cious pack­age.” The Guard­i­an adds more: Po­lice “are telling people to leave the centre of Oslo and warn­ing there could be more ex­plo­sions. They are also ex­amin­ing an un­ex­ploded pack­age, al­though the loc­a­tion of the pack­age is not clear.”

12:09 - Cit­ing the As­so­ci­ated Press, the BBC says that Oslo po­lice re­port 15 in­jured in the bomb­ing.

12:03 pm EST - Re­u­ters has a new re­port on the likely sus­pects of the at­tack. On their list: al-Qaida, the Is­lam­ic move­ment of Uzbek­istan, Al Shabaab, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, and AQkim.

11:57 - BBC News con­firms with As­sist­ant Chief Con­stable Egil Vrekke of the Oslo Po­lice that two people have died from the bomb­ing and res­cue op­er­a­tions are on­go­ing. The Guard­i­an re­lays the latest of­fi­cial po­lice state­ment: “There has been one or sev­er­al power­ful ex­plo­sions in the gov­ern­ment dis­trict in Oslo. So far, po­lice can­not say any­thing about the scope of the dam­age, aside from that there’s been one or sev­er­al ex­plo­sions.”

11:55 - An As­so­ci­ated Press pho­to­graph­er cap­tured vic­tims be­ing treated from a street view in the sur­round­ing area:

11:43 - The Guard­i­an re­lays: “Af­ten­pos­ten news­pa­per is re­port­ing po­lice be­lieve it is pos­sible there two more bombs that they haven’t loc­ated yet.”

11:40 - Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Hans Kris­ti­an Amund­sen says to BBC News that “people are be­lieved to still be trapped in the build­ing and the fo­cus is on res­cuing people.” Prime Min­is­ter Jens Stol­ten­berg was not at the build­ing at the time of the ex­plo­sion, the news out­let says.

11:31 - A press of­ficer at the Oslo po­lice sta­tion tells CNN: “We don’t know if this comes from a ter­ror­ist ac­tion, we don’t know yet. We don’t know ex­actly how many ex­plo­sions were yet,” the spokes­per­son said.

11:16 - BBC cor­res­pond­ent Leif Lands­verk re­ports: “The city centre is now be­ing evac­u­ated. The cent­ral train sta­tion is now closed.”

11:11 am EST - ABC News re­ports that the ex­plo­sion was a “res­ult of a massive vehicle bomb, ac­cord­ing to U.S. gov­ern­ment sources on the scene.”

11:04 - In sum­mary of the re­ports we’ve seen so far: a large ex­plo­sion (pos­sibly two) hit gov­ern­ment of­fice build­ings hous­ing the prime min­is­ter in down­town Oslo, Nor­way. Al­though the prime min­is­ter and his staff ap­pear to be un­harmed, at least eight have been con­firmed in­jured and one has been re­por­ted dead. The live blogs we’re fol­low­ing in­clude those from Re­u­ters, The Guard­i­an, CNN and BBC News. Im­ages and video are be­low (live video here).

10:57 - “We can con­firm that every­body who was work­ing in the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice today are safe,” says Seni­or ad­viser Oivind Os­tang to Nor­we­gi­an TV2 (via The Guard­i­an). A BBC cor­res­pond­ent in Oslo, Ath­ar Kaleem, de­scribes the scene: “It was a massive ex­plo­sion, I was at least 1km away from the scene but I felt the ex­plos­ive in my feet. Every­one had the same feel­ing. It seems the ex­plo­sion got very high shock waves as it broken the mir­rors at quite lar­ger dis­tances”

10:54 - The latest Re­u­ters brief con­firms a death in the ex­plo­sion, the re­ports of those in­jured vary between eight and “dozens.”

10:51 - A spokes­per­son for the Legevak­ten Hos­pit­al in Oslo tells CNN: “Right now we are not too sure what has happened; we are watch­ing the news and talk­ing to the oth­er hos­pit­als,” the spokes­per­son said. “We don’t know what caused it or how many people are in­jured.”

10:47 -The AP re­lays this screen im­age of the smoking sur­round­ing area:

10:44 - The Guard­i­an‘s live ac­count re­lays a wit­ness re­port to the BBC: “A Nor­we­gi­an re­port­er told the BBC she is in a build­ing five blocks away and its win­dows have been blown out by the ex­plo­sion. She used the word ‘bomb’ be­fore cla­ri­fy­ing that she had no evid­ence the cause of the ex­plo­sion was a bomb.”

10:42 - Live video can be viewed on Nor­we­gi­an TV (no Eng­lish trans­la­tion) here.

10:39 - The Tele­graph re­lays that dozens are in­jured, with no cas­u­alty re­ports at present.

10:35 - @Mpop­pel, founder of @break­ing news, re­lays the Oslo po­lice state­ment: “There has been a large ex­plo­sion at the gov­ern­ment headquar­ters. The po­lice was no­ti­fied at 1526 this af­ter­noon.”

10:33 a.m. EDT - CNN re­lays from Nor­we­gi­an broad­caster NRK that a second blast has been re­por­ted. The re­port has been dis­puted however: “NRK: Re­ports of a second blast are not true; sound was caused by fall­ing debris/glass” (via @Mpop­pel)

Ori­gin­al Post:

Mul­tiple out­lets are re­port­ing that an ex­plo­sion has dam­aged of­fice build­ings in down­town Oslo, Nor­way. The As­so­ci­ated Press, via Break­ing News, says that of­fices are be­ing evac­u­ated. Re­u­ters writes that the ex­plo­sion blew out the win­dows of a gov­ern­ment build­ing hous­ing Prime Min­is­ter Jens Stol­ten­berg’s of­fice.

The blast blew out most win­dows on the 17-story build­ing hous­ing Stol­ten­berg’s of­fice, as well as nearby min­is­tries in­clud­ing the oil min­istry, which was on fire.

Eight people have been re­por­ted in­jured. CNN’s Vaughn Ster­ling quotes a wit­ness on CNN In­ter­na­tion­al say­ing that “there’s been a second ex­plo­sion.”Chris­ti­an Aglen, a de­vel­op­ment man­ager at Nor­way’s fin­an­cial news web­site (E24.no), tweets the above pic­ture: “Un­real. An en­tire block has ex­ploded!” Video has already been cir­cu­lat­ing:

</p><p style=”font-size: 12px; mar­gin-bot­tom: 10px; width: 628px; mar­gin-right: 10px; back­ground-col­or: #f2f2f2; pad­ding: 8px;”><a href=”ht­tp://www.theat­lantic.com/” mce_href=”ht­tp://www.theat­lantic.com/”><img src=”ht­tp://cdn.theat­lanticwire.com/img/site/wire-logo.png” mce_s­rc=”ht­tp://cdn.theat­lanticwire.com/img/site/wire-logo.png” alt=”“/></a> <br/><br/><b>Latest Wire Posts:</b><br/><span id=”Latest­At­lanticWire”>Load­ing feed…</span></p>

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