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Kongsberg: Bow and arrow attack appears to be terrorism - officials

October 15, 2021 9:22 am

A deadly bow and arrow attack in Norway which left five people dead appears to have been an act of terror, Norway’s security service (PST) said.

The suspect, a 37-year-old Danish citizen named Espen Andersen Brathen, had converted to Islam and there were fears he had been radicalised.

However a motive has not yet been determined.

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He is accused of killing four women and a man on Wednesday night in the southern town of Kongsberg.

In a press release on Thursday (in Norwegian), police said Brathen was due to appear in court on Friday at 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT).

A police lawyer told public broadcaster NRK he would be assessed by psychiatrists. During a press conference PST head Hans Sverre Sjovold said the suspect had been “in and out of the health system for some time”.

Residents have been deeply shaken by the violence.

Flags were flown at half-mast on Thursday while flowers and other memorials were placed in Kongsberg’s main square.

The victims were all aged between 50 and 70, regional police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud told reporters at a Thursday morning news briefing.

The attack was first reported at 18:13 (16:13 GMT) on Wednesday. Police confronted the man six minutes later, but he shot several arrows at them and escaped. He was eventually caught about 30 minutes later.

It was during this time, between being first approached and then arrested, that the victims were killed, the police chief said.

A woman was also stabbed at a nearby intersection, witnesses told local media.

Police fired warning shots when he was eventually arrested, but it is not clear if officers were armed when they first came across the suspect. Norwegian police do not usually carry guns on them – weapons are stored at police stations or in their patrol cars.

The attack was Norway’s deadliest since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 people, most of them teenagers, on the island of Utoya in July 2011.

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