Norwegians mourn massacre victims


Thousands of Norwegians held a minute’s silence on Monday to remember the more than 90 victims of an anti-immigration killer who stunned the normally peaceful nation with a bomb and gun attack. A muffled ripple of applause spread through the crowd as King Harald arrived at Oslo University to sign a book of remembrance, before he and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg climbed the steps of the neo-classical building, and faced the crowd standing hushed in the summer drizzle.
“In remembrance of the victims … I declare one minute’s national silence,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said, standing dressed in black on the steps next to the king and queen, the whole group flanked by two burning torches.
The silence stretched to five minutes as thousands more stood around a carpet of flowers outside the nearby Oslo cathedral.
The only sound was the squawking of seagulls and a lone dog barking. Cars stopped in the streets and their drivers got out and stood motionless as traffic lights changed from red to green.
Anders Behring Breivik is due in court on Monday after he planted a bomb on Friday outside Stoltenberg’s Oslo office which killed seven, then drove to the island of Utoeya and shot dead 86 at a youth camp of the ruling Labour Party. “This is a tragic event to see all these young people dying due to one man’s craziness. It is important to have this minute of silence so that all the victims and the parents of the families know that people are thinking about them,” said mechanic Sven-Erik Fredheim, 36, shortly before the silence.
The 32-year-old Breivik declared in a rambling 1,500-page manifesto posted online shortly before the massacre that he was on a self-appointed mission to save Europe from what he saw as the threats of Islam, immigration and multi-culturalism.