Officials in Norway have charged a 32-year-old Norwegian man with killing at least 92 people in a gun and bomb attack described as the worst act of violence in the country since World War II.
Police confirmed to Al Jazeera on Saturday that the suspect had been named as Anders Behring Breivik.
Breivik, who confessed to firing weapons during questioning on Saturday, belonged to right-wing political groups. But officials said they are not jumping to conclusions about his motives.
Reports suggest he belonged to an anti-immigration party, wrote blogs attacking multi-culturalism and was a member of a neo-Nazi online forum.
But Norwegian authorities said Breivik, detained by police after 85 people were gunned down at a youth camp and another 7 killed in an Oslo bomb attack on Friday, was previously unknown to them and his internet activity traced so far included no calls to violence.
Breivik bought six tons of fertiliser before the massacre, a supplier said on Saturday, as police investigated witness accounts of a second shooter in the attack on Utoya.
If convicted on terrorism charges, he would face a maximum of 21 years in jail, police have said.
Norway’s royal family and prime minister led the nation in mourning, visiting grieving relatives of the scores of youth gunned down at an island retreat, as the shell-shocked Nordic nation was gripped by reports that the gunman may not have acted alone.
The shooting spree began just hours after a massive explosion that ripped through an Oslo high-rise building housing the prime minister’s office.
“This is beyond comprehension. It’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for those who have been killed, for their mothers and fathers, family and friends,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Saturday.
Though the prime minister cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the gunman’s motives, both attacks were in areas connected to the left-leaning Labour Party, which leads a coalition government.
The youth camp, about 35km northwest of Oslo, is organised by the party’s youth wing, and the prime minister had been scheduled to speak there on Saturday.
‘Christian fundamentalist’ views
The blond-haired Behring Breivik described himself on his Facebook page as “conservative”, “Christian”, and interested in hunting and computer games like World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2, reports say.
The man in the police uniform shouted for the campers to come closer. When they did, he killed them.
The gunman who killed at least 80 people at an island youth camp north west of Oslo used his disguise to lure in his victims, then shot them twice to make sure they were dead, survivors said in the village of Sundvollen, where they were taken after the massacre.
Speaking on the phone to Sky News Adrian Pracon said he heard the killer shout that everyone was going to die.
The 21-year-old said: ‘He yelled out that he was going to kill us all and that we must all die. I started speculating and thinking this can’t be real because Norwegian people wouldn’t attack Norway.’
Mr Pracon also described how he could hear the gunman’s boots as he walked along the rocks and felt his breath moments before he shot him in the back.
‘I was lying on a rock, face down and I could hear him coming. I could feel his breath.
‘As he approached, he shot at me to see if I was dead and fortunately I didn’t move so he thought I was dead.
‘I was laying there for two hours, still healthy but very cold.’
Before he was shot Mr Pracon said he had tried to escape the island by swimming into the ocean but only managed a short distance before deciding to turn back.
‘I jumped into the water like the rest of the people but I did not have time to take my clothes off and it had started to rain.
‘When I had swum about 100 metres I felt I had to turn back because I started to get very cold and felt I might meet a certain death.’
Once he reached the shore he saw Breivik who pointed his gun at him.
‘I screamed to him, please no please. I didn’t know if he didn’t want to just kill me because I was one person or if he preferred to kill a group of people.
‘Later he started shooting out of nowhere and I was hiding behind the bodies.’
Elise, 15, said was just feet away from the gunman when he opened fire in the camp on Utoya island: ‘I saw many dead people.’
Elise said she had just come out from an information meeting in a nearby building when she heard gunshots. She saw a police officer and thought she was safe, but then he started shooting.
‘He first shot people on the island. Afterwards he started shooting people in the water,” she said.
Elise said she hid behind the same rock that the killer was standing on. “I could hear his breathing from the top of the rock,” she said.
In panic, the girl phoned her parents, whispering to them what was going on.
‘They told me not to panic and that everything would be OK,” she said.
Her parents also told her to get rid of a brightly coloured jacket she was wearing to not draw attention to herself.
She said it was impossible to say how many minutes passed while she was waiting for him to stop.
Survivors described a scene of sheer terror at the camp, which is organised by the youth wing of Norway’s ruling Labour party.
Hundreds of young people were eagerly awaiting a speech the prime minister was to give there today.
Several of the survivors seemed calm as anxious parents picked them up at a Sundvollen hotel, but the stories they told were of utter terror.
Dana Berzingi said the fake police officer ordered people to come closer, then pulled weapons and ammunition from a bag and started shooting.
Several victims “had pretended as if they were dead to survive,” the 21-year-old said. But after shooting the victims with one gun, the gunman shot them again in the head with a shotgun, he said.
“I lost several friends,” said Mr Berzingi, whose trousers were stained with blood. He said he used the mobile phone of one of his fallen friends to call police.
At least 20 people have been killed and dozens more injured in continued violence between rival groups in Pakistan’s largest city, police and officials said.
The recent spate of pitched battles in the eastern neighbourhoods of Karachi, the commercial hub of the country, killed 12 people on Friday and eight more on Saturday, according to police sources.
The violence is said to be a result of clashes between armed activists of Karachi’s most powerful political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and its breakaway faction, the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H).
Saud Mirza, a police official in Karachi, said on Friday that the violence erupted when “some men of a group entered Khokhrapar area of Malir and targeted their opponents”.
Late on Saturday, hundreds of people, including officials and supporters of MQM attended the funeral of two of the victims.
“The unarmed innocent people were brutally killed in their houses and on the streets in the morning at around
7:30am,” Mustafa Kamal, an MQM official told reporters.
He said most of the victims were either workers or supporters of MQM, but did not speculate on who the killers were.
The violence in Karachi has escalated since earlier this month, and has taken the lives of more than 150 people.
Police, in their attempts to return order to the city, declared a “shoot on sight” policy on July 9 after at least 98 people were killed in street violence over a span of three days.
“We have issued orders to the security forces to shoot anyone involved in violence on the spot,” Sharjeel Memon, the provincial information minister, told the Reuters news agency on Friday.
“In addition to the police and Rangers, another 1,000 personnel of the Frontier Constabulary will be deployed in the city to control the violence,” he said.
Karachi, home to more than 18 million people, has a long history of ethnic, religious and sectarian violence.
A recent report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 1,138 people were killed in Karachi in the first six months of 2011, of whom 490 were victims of political, ethnic and sectarian violence.
According to officials, Karachi contributes 68 per cent of the government’s total revenue and 25 per cent of country’s GDP.
Norwegians are mourning the victims of a massacre at an island youth camp and a bombing in the capital Oslo.
At least 85 people died when a gunman opened fire at the Utoeya camp on Friday, hours after a blast in the government quarter killed seven. Another four are missing on the island.
A 32-year-old Norwegian man was charged over both attacks, but police say it is possible another person was involved.
The suspect surrendered immediately and admitted using a weapon, police said.
Police chief Sveinung Sponheim said officers took 45 minutes to reach the island, and the gunman was apprehended 45 minutes after that.
Mr Sponheim added that there were still bodies or body parts in buildings damaged by the Oslo blast, which he confirmed was caused by a car bomb.
However, the buildings were currently too fragile and dangerous to search, and there were still undetonated explosives there, the police chief said.
It was possible the total death toll from the two attacks could rise to 98, he said.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg comforted victims and relatives alongside King Harald, Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon in the town of Sundvollen near the island.
Mr Stoltenberg said he was “deeply touched” by the meetings.
“We will do whatever we can to give them as much support as possible,” he said.