Norway has not had such violence visited in it since the Second World War.

Yesterday a bomb rocked the Norwegian capital of Oslo killing at least seven people and a further 84 people were shot dead either on or in the water around the small island of Utøya just 20 miles outside Oslo.

So far the Norwegian police have arrested one man, named as 32 year old Anders Behring Breivik by Norwegian TV and he is described as ‘ethnic Norwegian’.

The 6ft tall blond suspect has been reported by Norway’s TV2 as having right wing extremist links, but the police said the killings appeared to be the work of a ‘madman’.

What a change since yesterday’s assumptions about links to Afghanistan, Libya and cartoons of Mohammed.

It is thought that one person could be responsible for both acts as there was a one and a half hour gap between the bomb going off and the shootings occurring.

The island shootings appear to have been especially horrific. There were said to be about 600 people on Utøya and most were members of the Norwegian Labour party’s youth group AUF (Arbeidernes ungdomsfylking) and between the ages of 14 and 18. They were there to listen to speeches and take part in debates over municipal elections and the state of their nation’s education. The gunman, reportedly dressed as a policeman, walked through the small wooded island and shot people at random.

At present there appears to be no firm motive for these killings.

The Mayor of Oslo Fabian Stang said that he wished he could have been there to take the bullets instead of the young victims and the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said "We are a small country, but a very proud one. Nobody can bomb us to be quiet. Nobody can shoot us to be quiet. Nobody can ever scare us from being Norway."

The world grieves with Norway today.

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