Norway attack victims stabbed not shot with arrows, say police

Five people killed in Norway last week were all stabbed to death and not shot with arrows as initially suspected, police have announced.

Four women and one man, aged between 52 and 78, were killed on Wednesday in the attack in Kongsberg, a town about 45 miles (70km) west of the capital, Oslo.

The attacker was armed with a bow and arrow, which he shot at several people, wounding at least one, but on Monday the police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters none of the deaths was caused by the weapon.

“Five people were killed with stabbing weapons,” Omholt told a news conference on Monday. He declined to say whether these were knives or larger weapons.

“Some were killed inside their own homes, others out in public,” Omholt said.

Three other people were injured, including an off-duty police officer who was shot with the bow and arrow in the early phase of the 35-minute rampage.

According to the police, a “double-digit” number of people were shot at with arrows at the start of the attack. “At some point he discarded or lost his bow and arrows,” said Omholt.

Police said they were still interviewing witnesses. “Everything points to the victims being selected at random,” Omholt said.

Police had said initially that a man armed with a bow and arrow had committed the killings. They later added that other weapons were also involved. Omholt did not say why it had taken six days to clarify the situation.

The sole suspect in the case, named by police last week as Espen Andersen Bråthen, 37, is believed by investigators to be mentally ill and is being held in a secure psychiatric facility.

The death toll was the worst of any attack in Norway since 2011, when the far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers at a youth camp.

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