OSLO, Oct 14 (Reuters) – A 37-year-old Danish citizen is suspected of killing five people in a bow-and-arrow attack in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg in a rare incident of mass killing in Norway, police said on Thursday.
Two people, including an off-duty police officer, were wounded in the Wednesday evening attacks, which took place in different locations in the town, 68 km (42 miles) southwest of the capital, Oslo.
“The police are giving this information because of all the rumours on social media regarding people who are not linked to these very serious acts,” police said in a statement in which they gave the suspect’s nationality but did not identity.
Police said nothing about a possible motive.
The death toll was the worst of any attack in Norway since 2011, when far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers at a youth camp.
Investigators are considering whether the Wednesday attacks amounted to an act of terrorism, and said they would give a more detailed account of the incident later on Thursday.
Police were interrogating the suspect and he was cooperating, his defence lawyer said.
“He is cooperating and is giving detailed statements regarding this event,” lawyer Fredrik Neumann told public broadcaster NRK.
A bow and arrow had been used for several of the attacks, police said, adding they were investigating whether another weapon was used.
Images from one of the crime scenes showed an arrow that appeared to be stuck in the wall of a wood-panelled building.
About 28,000 people live in the Kongsberg municipality in southeastern Norway,
Following the attacks, the police directorate said it had ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns when needed.
Reporting by Terje Solsvik
Editing by Robert Birsel
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