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Norway commemorates victims of Oslo shooting

#Norway #commemorates #victims #Oslo #shooting

Norway on Sunday paid tribute to the victims of a deadly shooting near a gay bar in the capital that shocked the normally peaceful country and prompted the cancellation of a Pride march.

The altar of Oslo Cathedral had vases with rainbow flags for a service commemorating the victims of the attack, attended by Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Investigators are looking into the motives of the suspected gunman, who opened fire in the early hours of Saturday, killing two and wounding 21.

“Bullets can’t kill love,” said the head of the Norwegian Protestant Church, Olav Fykse Tveit.

Pointing out that for years the church has opposed equal rights for same-sex couples, he said: “We see that we can learn, sometimes against our will, that diversity is a gift, a wealth and that many homosexuals have the ability to have love of which we are not capable.”

“The shooting… put an end to the Pride march,” a somber Prime Minister told Jonas Gahr Store. “But it hasn’t ended the fight against discrimination, prejudice and hatred.”

– suspect known to police –

The shooting took place around 1:00 am Saturday (23:00 GMT Friday) near the London Pub gay club in Oslo’s busy nightlife district, where Pride parties were in full swing.

Two men between 50 and 60 died. Twenty-one other people were injured.

Police quickly arrested the suspect, whom they described as a 42-year-old Norwegian of Iranian descent, known to the country’s security services. Norwegian media called him Zaniar Matapour.

The domestic intelligence agency PST said it was treating the attack as an “act of Islamist terrorism”.

The suspect “has a long history of violence and threats,” PST chief Roger Berg said.

He said the man had been on the PST’s radar “since 2015 related to concerns about his radicalization” and membership of “an Islamist extremist network” and had “difficulties with his mental health”.

Police ordered the man to be placed under “judicial observation” to determine his mental status. He refused to be questioned about his motives on Saturday.

When asked about the motives behind the shooting, Borge Enoksen, a senior police official, said at a news conference on Sunday: “It could be a combination of things. It is too early to draw any conclusion.”

On Saturday, the intelligence services raised the country’s threat level from moderate to “extraordinary.”

– ‘We will not disappear’ –

People, many in tears, laid flowers and rainbow flags at the police security cordon around the scene of the shooting.

“Love is love – and it is the same for everyone. Everyone has the right to live as they choose,” said chef Kristin Wenstad as she paid her respects.

The organizers of the LGBT pride parade, which was to take place on Saturday afternoon, canceled it on the advice of the police.

Nonetheless, thousands spontaneously marched through Oslo on Saturday in a show of unity, which was also seen at Pride marches across Europe.

“We are here. we are queer We won’t go away,” they chanted.

Soccer player Ada Hegerberg waved a rainbow armband after scoring the opening goal in Saturday night’s women’s national team game against New Zealand.

Several European leaders condemned the shooting and expressed their condolences.

“We all have the right to love and be loved,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted.

Saturday’s shooting came 11 years after right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in the worst peacetime massacre that shook the nation to its core.

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#Norway #commemorates #victims #Oslo #shooting

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