It should have been the start of an exuberant party weekend – but a terrorist attack had a popular gay bar in Oslo turned into a place of terror. In the center of the Norwegian capital, a man shot at least two people on Saturday night. At least 21 others were injured, according to the police, ten of them seriously. The alleged perpetrator comes from Iran and has been on the list of endangered persons by the Norwegian authorities since 2015.
The “London Pub” was not the only crime scene – shots were also fired in other places on the party mile. Investigator Christian Hatlo told the Norwegian newspaper “VG” that the suspect had previously committed a criminal offense. He was sentenced to several months in prison for drug offenses. During the night, the police searched his home. Investigators wanted to comment on the details on Saturday afternoon.
The act caused horror in Norway. King Harald V (85) called on his countrymen to stand together. It is important to uphold common values such as freedom, diversity and respect for one another so that everyone can feel safe. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre expressed his condolences to the victims’ families after a “cruel and deeply shocking attack”. The social democrat assured the queer community: “We stand by your side.” Former Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg has said the freedom to love whoever you like has been attacked.
According to the Swedish news agency TT, the alarm was triggered shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday night. Witnesses at the scene told media that people ran away in a panic. The police cordoned off a large area and asked eyewitnesses to go to a nearby hotel. The fatal shots were fired on the eve of in Oslo planned Pride parade. The organizers canceled this on Saturday morning.