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Norway attack victims were killed by stabbings, not arrows, police say

Four women and one man, between the ages of 50 and 70, died in the attack in the small town of Kongsberg last Wednesday.

According to the initial timeline, police received reports of a man shooting arrows at people in a nearby supermarket shortly after 6:00 p.m. Less than an hour later, Espen Andersen Bråthen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, was arrested over the attack.

On Monday, police released an updated statement detailing the chain of events in the roughly 35-minute rampage.

“As now known, an off-duty police officer was injured by an arrow inside the supermarket. It is now also known that the person charged [with the crime] exited into Myntgata and walked down Peckels gate, where [he] fired several arrows, also against other persons. The bow and arrows were found in Peckels gate,” the statement said.

“When he arrived in Hyttegata, he was no longer armed with bow and arrows. The five people killed by a stabbing weapon were killed in Hyttegata. Some were killed in their homes, some outside in public,” the statement continued.

Concerns over radicalization

Bråthen is being held in a high-security psychiatric ward rather than a prison amid concern over his mental health.

Police confirmed again on Monday that mental illness appears to be the most likely cause of the suspect’s motives. Bråthen had converted to Islam and officers had previously been in contact with him, including over concerns related to radicalization.

The newly inaugurated Norwegian Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, drew a parallel between Wednesday’s attack and the gun and bomb attacks carried out in Norway in 2011 by far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, adding that two ministers in his new government were survivors of those attacks.

“It was an act of terrorism, and this act that happened yesterday naturally reminds us of those who have experienced such terrible things and we will stand by them,” he told a press conference in Oslo shortly after the incident.

The police investigation continues.

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