Norway’s security service (PST) said that a deadly bow and arrow attack in Norway which killed five people appears to have been an act of terror,
In the mean time a motive has not yet been resolved.
The suspect, a 37-year-old Danish citizen named Espen Andersen Brathen, had embraced Islam and there were alarm he had been radicalized.
He is accused of murdering four women and a man on Wednesday night in the southern town of Kongsberg.
police said In a press release on Thursday (in Norwegian), Brathen was due to appear in court on Friday at 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT).
A police lawyer also told public broadcaster NRK he would be examined by psychiatrists.
Residents have been deeply traumatized by the violence.
Many Flags were flown at half-mast on Thursday while lots flowers and other monuments were placed in Kongsberg’s main square.
All the victims were all aged between 50 and 70, regional police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud revealed to reporters at a Thursday morning news briefing.
Police confronted the man six minutes later, after the attack was first reported at 18:12 (16:12 GMT) on Wednesday. but he shot some arrows at them and still escaped. He was in the end apprehended about 30 minutes later.
It was at this time, the police chief said, between being first approached and then arrested, that the victims were killed.
Witnesses also told local media that a woman was also stabbed at a nearby crossing.
Police fired cautioning shots when he was in the end arrested, but it is uncertain if officers were armed when they first approached the suspect. Norwegian police do not normally carry guns on them – weapons are kept at police stations or in their patrol cars.
This attack was Norway’s deadliest since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers, on the island of Utoya in July 2011.
‘People ran for their lives’
The aggressors reportedly launched the assault inside a Coop Extra supermarket on Kongsberg’s west side. Among those wounded was an off-duty police officer who was in the shop at the time.
The officer and another person who was injured are recuperating in hospital with non-life-threatening wounds.
Police on Thursday disclosed that a third person had also been wounded, and was rushed to the emergency room.
One witness narrated to local outlet TV2 that she had heard an uproar and saw a woman taking cover, then 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 added.
Police have also disclosed to Norwegian news agency NTB that the aggressors used other weapons during the incident, without giving more details.
The suspect moved over a large area, and authorities cordoned off several parts of the town.
Police hunt surrounding gardens and garages with the help of sniffer dogs, while residents were ordered to stay indoors so Officials could examine the scene and gather evidence.
‘The atmosphere here has darkened’
Kongsberg Mayor Kari Anne Sand said it was a deadly attack in an area where many people lived, and that a crisis team would assist anyone affected.
Ms Sand while describing the town as
“a completely ordinary community with completely ordinary people”, said everyone had been deeply troubled by “this very tragic situation”.
British woman Fiona Herland, who has resided in Kongsberg for five years, described the town as
“a very warm, cosy place – nothing happens here.”
“This is absolutely devastating. You can feel the atmosphere here has darkened,” she told the BBC.
Authorities took the suspect to a police station in the town of Drammen, where his defense lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, said he was interrogated for more than three hours and was co-operating with authorities.
He said, the suspect had a Danish mother and Norwegian father, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Danish Officials will work with their Norwegian counterparts on the investigation.
Police prosecutor Ann Irén Svane Mathiassen told TV2 that the man had resided in Kongsberg for many years.
The ambush happened on the final day of then-Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s conservative government. On Thursday morning, Labour leader Jonas Gahr Store became Norway’s new Prime minister with a center-left coalition.
Mr Store said it was a
“gruesome and brutal act”.
NATO’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, who is from Oslo, described it as “shocking news”.
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Bows and arrows are not classified as illegal weapons in Norway. Buying and owning them is legal, and owners are not required to register or disclosed them, however they must be used at select archery ranges.
Sequel to the attack, police officers nationwide were ordered to carry firearms as an extra-care taken in advance, but there is
“no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level,”