Friday, 22 July 2011

An Oslo Tragedy

The news from Oslo tonight is truly horrific.

The author perched above Oslo Harbour in 2007
The numbers of dead is increasing by the hour and whilst the deaths of at least 7 in a probable car bomb attack in the city centre is bad enough, the shootings on a remote island at a Labour Party Youth Camp is shocking beyond comprehension. It has now been confirmed that at least 10 have been killed on the island with eye-witnesses mentioning the sight of 20-25 bodies. These unprecedented attacks on Norwegian soil look as if they are linked and this minimal total of 17 deaths will shock Norway to its core.

TV stations are connecting these actions to the global war on terror. Norway is indeed involved in Afghanistan but for a country that has been on the fringes of the war on terror, it would be a shocking development if this were the case. It may be a locally based group at work. It is too early to be sure and caution must be exercised at present until more is known.

I have been in Oslo myself as part of a Scandinavian holiday with friends back in 2007. It's a lovely city and as one of the homes of the Nobel Peace Prize (along with Stockholm), I took to it quickly.

This is a truly petrifying attack and reminds us that we live in a society where our safety can not be guaranteed. As one who has visited Scandinavia, this has really shocked me. The fact that children have been targeted makes it all the more incomprehensible.

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