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On Wednesday (October 13) evening, a man armed with a bow and arrow killed five people and injured two more including an off-duty police officer in Kongsberg, near Oslo, the capital of Norway. The man who has been arrested by the Norwegian police after the deadly attack had earlier converted to Islam.
According to media reports, the Norway police said they had previously been in contact with the 37-year-old accused in 2020 as he showed signs of radicalisation following his conversion to Islam. The unidentified man was earlier flagged as having been radicalised, the police said.
BREAKING: Police in Norway say the suspect of a series of bow and arrow killings had converted to Islam and police had been previously concerned over signs of radicalisation.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 14, 2021
“There earlier had been worries of the man having been radicalised,” regional police chief Ole B. Saeverud told a news conference. The reports linking the suspect to radicalisation were before 2021 and police had followed up at the time, Saeverud added. “There were concerns over radicalisation … Those reports were followed up,” Saeverud said without elaborating further. He also added that the police is yet to ascertain whether it was a terrorist attack.
“Given how events unfolded, it is natural to assess whether this is a terrorist attack,” said the police chief.
According to Reuters, the accused is in police custody and is thought to have acted alone.
In what transpired, on Wednesday, October 13, the Danish man launched the assault inside a Coop Extra supermarket on Kongsberg’s west side. An eyewitness was quoted by the local media as saying that she had heard a sudden uproar and saw a woman fleeing, followed by a “man standing on the corner with arrows in a quiver on his shoulder and a bow in his hand.”
“Afterwards, I saw people running for their lives. One of them was a woman holding a child by the hand,” she further added.
Meanwhile, the police, without divulging details, confirmed that besides bow and arrows, the accused used other weapons during the attack as well.
As the suspect moved around swiftly in an attempt to escape the police, authorities cordoned off several sections in the vicinity. Residents were warned to stay indoors as authorities used sniffer dogs to search for the accused. Reports suggest that police were informed of the attack at 6:13 pm (local time) (4.13 pm GMT) and the suspect was arrested at 6:47 pm (local time).
Five people, four women and one man between the ages of 50 and 70, were killed in the attack. Two other people were injured and are in intensive care in hospital, one among them an off-duty police officer.
Radical Islamists launch attacks on the streets of Norway
Last year, a Muslim mob had unleashed violence on the streets of Norway capital city Oslo. The clashes had broken out between Muslim mobs and a group of protestors identified as Stop Islamization of Norway (SIAN) during a rally in Oslo.
Prior to this, Muslim mobs had unleashed riots on the streets of Sweden after a member of the ‘Stram Kurs’ group had burnt a copy of the Quran. Amidst the chants of Allahu Akbar, the radical Islamists had taken to the streets and unleash violence.