Sweden has pledged “Nordic solidarity” with neighbouring Norway after the country was hit by a devastating twin terror attack on Friday that left almost 80 people dead.
Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt began commenting on the events on his Twitter account as reports came in of the bomb blast in central Oslo, followed by a shooting rampage at a youth camp for up-and-coming Labour Party activists on Utoya Island.
“I immediately had contact with my Norwegian colleague Jonas Store to express our deep sympathy to all those affected and to provide any assistance such as may be required,” wrote Bildt after first hearing of the explosion in the Norwegian capital. “Terrorism has struck. Police confirms bomb in Oslo. We are all Norwegians,” he added later when the blast was verified as a deliberate attack.
Eight people have been confirmed dead after the bomb blast near government offices, and at least 68 youngsters were gunned-down at the youth camp. Anders Behring Breivik, a 32 year-old Norwegian farmer who has admitted to both offences, used dum-dum bullets in the shootings that disintegrate inside the body to cause maximum damage.
Breivik has close ties to far-right extremist political groups and published a 1,500-page manifesto expressing his strong beliefs against Islam and multiculturalism shortly before the attacks. It is thought that he was able to purchase fertiliser for his farm that may have been used in the bomb attack.
Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden’s Prime Minister, issued a statement reflecting his shock at the indiscriminate killings. “I offer my deepest condolences for the tragedy that has happened in Oslo and at the Norwegian youth camp. My thoughts go to the relatives of the victims and to those who have been injured.”
Swedish police have also been put on high alert since the gruesome incidents.