Iceland standing with Norway following attacks

Johanna Sigurdardottir, Prime Minister of Iceland, has conveyed her country’s condolences to her Norwegian counterpart and encouraged Icelanders to fly their flags at half mast following Friday’s bomb and shootings in the Oslo area.

“This is such a tragic event that words cannot describe. We are thinking of the Norwegian nation at this terrible time. Our thoughts are with the Norwegians and not least with the victims and families of those who are maybe going through the most trying times the Norwegians have had to deal with,” Johanna Sigurdardottir said.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s office Saturday morning said that all government buildings would be flying flags at half mast. The statement also encouraged the public to do the same. Sigurdardottir said that she felt it was important to show support in as visible a fashion as possible. She also told that she had spoken with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg who, she said, has shown great strength following the attacks.

Visir asked the Icelandic premier what impact she feels the atrocities in Norway will have on the Nordic open democracies: “I hope it will be much as Stoltenberg said — that we won’t let this defeat us but rather put our trust even more in open and transparent democracy in our society and deal with the matter in that manner.”

At least 92 people died in Friday’s attacks. Seven in the Oslo bomb and 85 in the shootings at the nearby island of Utey, where a Labour Party youth camp was taking place. Anders Behring is thought to be the mastermind behind the bombing and was also the gunman. His far-right views are against multiculturalism and vehemently anti-Islam. His extreme and disturbing Norwegian writings have been translated into English here. Despite previous assumptions, it now appears possible he was working alone.