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At least 80 killed in Norway shooting spree

Police in Norway now say at least 80 people were killed in a shooting spree at a youth camp on Utoeya Island.  Investigators told reporters early Saturday they had discovered several more victims after initially reporting the death toll at 10.

Around 700 people, mostly teens, were attending the camp, which was organized by the youth wing of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s Labor Party.  There are also reports that an explosive device that didn’t go off has been found within the camp.

The shooting spree was one of two devastating attacks to hit Norway Friday – the worst the nation has seen since the Second World War.

The day of terror began with a bombing outside of the Prime Minister’s office in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.  The blast killed at least seven and blew out most of the windows on the 17-storey building housing the office, as well as nearby ministries.  Heavy debris littered the streets and smoke rose over the city centre.

In addition to the seven deaths, numerous people were injured, police said.

Norway’s national broadcaster NRK said Prime Minister Stoltenberg, who was working from home, is safe.

Shortly after the explosion, a gunman opened fire at a youth camp on Utoeya Island, 30-40 minutes northwest of Oslo, police said.

A suspect has been arrested in the shooting.  At a press conference Friday authorities said the 32-year-old man is Norwegian.  NRK later identified him as Anders Behring Breivik.

Police say the attacks don’t appear to be linked to Islamist terrorism, but the investigation is still in its preliminary stages. 

A police official said the suspect appears to have acted alone.  “It seems like that this is not linked to any international terrorist organizations at all,” he said.

Prime Minister Stoltenberg said that it’s “too early to say anything about motives.”

Police say the two attacks are likely linked, adding that the alleged shooter had been observed in Oslo shortly before the explosion.  He was reportedly wearing a police uniform.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement Friday condemning the violence.

“I was shocked and intensely saddened to learn of the attacks in Oslo and Utoeya today,” he said.

“We deeply regret the loss of life and injuries resulting from the explosion which occurred today in the government quarters, where the Prime Minister’s Office and other government offices are located. We were also horrified to learn that a gunman has opened fire at a youth camp at Utoeya. Canada condemns these barbarous and senseless acts of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, witnesses and all those affected by these attacks.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I wish to express Canada’s sincere condolences to Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and to the Norwegian people. Canada stands with Norway on this tragic day,” Harper said.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the bombings and shootings in Norway “demonstrate that the world is still a very volatile place” in which military and security forces play a vital role.

“We have to remain vigilant in Canada,” MacKay told reporters.

“In so doing, we also express our solidarity and support for those who have lost loved ones in Norway and we commit ourselves as a country to work with them and our allies in doing all we can to protect citizens around the globe.”

With files from The Associated Press and Canadian Press