Oslo bomb - latest updates

Key points

  • A bomb has been detonated at government headquarters in Oslo
  • Norwegian police have confirmed at least two deaths
  • Oslo police are advising residents to stay at home
  • No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack
  • Five people have reportedly been injured in a separate attack by a gunman at a Labour youth camp outside Oslo
  • Unconfirmed reports say Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg had been due to attend the camp

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    Former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland had been due to attend the Labour Party youth meeting on Friday, Reuters adds.


    Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg tells public broadcaster NRK "there is a critical situation at Utoya", Reuters reports.

    Mr Stoltenberg's calendar shows that he had been due to make a speech at the Labour Party's youth meeting on the island Saturday.


    Emergency workers remain at the scene of the bombing in central Oslo.


    EU president Herman Van Rompuy describes the bomb that hit government buildings in Norway's capital as an act of "cowardice".

    "I am deeply shocked by the bomb blasts this afternoon in Oslo which have killed a number of innocent people and left many others injured," Van Rompuy says in a statement.

    "I condemn in the strongest terms these acts of cowardice for which there is no justification."


    Around 560 people were attending the youth camp for Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's Labour Party, AFP reports.


    The US condemns the "despicable" blast that tore through government buildings in Oslo and says it is ready to provide assistance if requested.

    "We condemn these despicable acts of violence," State Department spokeswoman Heide Bronke Fulton tells AFP.

    "Our hearts are with the victims and their families, and we have reached out to the Norwegian government to express our condolences."


    10 people have been admitted to hospital in Oslo, Reuters says.


    Osten Mjarum, from the Norwegian Red Cross in Oslo, says that some people remain trapped after the bombing.

    "We're getting reports that there are still injured people inside some of the government buildings. But the rescue workers are in contact with them and trying to help them out as well."

    1749: Breaking News

    Norwegian state broadcaster NRK says five people have been injured in the shooting at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya.


    UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is about to make a UN statement on the attack in Norway, Reuters reports.


    AFP report police say Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg had been due to attend a rally of his Labour Party's youth section on the island of Utoya where a gunman reportedly opened fire earlier.

    Nina in Oslo

    emails: The police are telling everyone to stay at home or in their hotel rooms this evening.

    James Keane in Olso

    emails: I was 300 metres from the blast, I walked down the street and saw people crying, people with shards of glass in them. There are windows within a 400 metre raduis with windows blown out. The blast was massive or at least from where I was standing. Police are cornering off huge areas inside the city, they have been quick and seem to have people under control.


    Norwegian police are telling Oslo residents to stay at home, French news agency AFP reports.

    "It is necessary to avoid big gatherings, to go back home," AFP quotes a police officer as saying. "It is wise to stay at home."


    A quick recap: Police in Norway have confirmed that a bomb has ripped through buildings in central Oslo, killing two and injuring at least 15.

    There are separate unconfirmed reports that a gunman has attacked a youth camp outside the city.


    The wreckage of a car lies outside a building in the centre of Oslo after the bombing.

    The wreckage of a car lies outside a building in the centre of Oslo

    Oslo journalist Hans Torgersen tells the BBC there have been reports that a gunman dressed as a policeman has attacked a Labour Party youth camp at an island just outside of Oslo.

    Freddy in Oslo

    I am in Norway right now. It's total chaos in the downtown right now. The police are starting to close down the down town and I started to see militaty police start helping wounded and shocked people. Also it's very very hard to leave the downtown of Oslo because the police says it's more safe to stay where we are.


    Police say some shots have been fired at a youth meeting in Oslo, Reuters reports.


    Readers have been sending in photos from the scene of the bombing. You can view them here: Oslo blast: Your pictures


    Oslo police say the office of broadcaster TV2 has been sealed off because of a suspicious package, AP reports.


    Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg tells Norwegian TV2 television in a phone call that the situation is "very serious".

    But he adds it is too early to say if the blast was a terrorist attack.

    He says police have advised him not to say where he is speaking from.


    ACC Vrekke says police are asking people to stay out of central Oslo.

    "We do have persons on the scene investigating whether there are other devices in the area."

    He says while the media is reporting 15 people injured he cannot confirm that figure.


    BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall says if the bomb - or bombs - were targeting the Norwegian government they were detonated at a time when many workers may have left for the weekend.


    Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg says that all cabinet ministers in the centre-left coalition government appear to be safe, Reuters says.


    Norwegian police are urging people to leave central Oslo, Reuters reports.


    The BBC's Emma Jane Kirby says whatever has happened in Oslo, it has left people extremely frightened.


    Oslo police say 15 people have been injured, Associated Press reports.


    ACC Vrekke says the police operation is continuing.

    "We will still secure the area and of course make certain there are no other possible bombs in this area and also the rescue operation will be ongoing for quite some time," he tells the BBC.


    ACC Vrekke tells the BBC he does not know if there was more than one explosion.

    If there were multiple blasts, he says, they occurred simultaneously.

    He says he cannot confirm whether the bomb was in a vehicle at this stage.


    Assistant Chief Constable Egil Vrekke of the Oslo Police confirms two people have died.

    He says police know there have been "a lot" of casualties but the rescue operation is ongoing.


    For eye-witness accounts and video footage, Norwegian journalist Ingunn Andersen says people were lying there bleeding in the moments after the explosion hit the centre of Oslo, while Olaf Furniss says you could smell the burning from the blast.

    1653: Rannveig Mjelde Vareberg in Oslo

    emails: I am on my way back to Stavanger. Ten minutes ago heavy armed police stopped and searched our bus on the way to Oslo airport. They stop all traffic to the airport.


    Eyewitness Siv Hartvigsen tells the BBC she was shopping nearby when the bomb went off.

    Ms Hartvigsen says it was a terrifying experience and the situation felt "really, really threatening".


    Many people are still being treated in the streets outside the building.

    Injured people are treated by medics at the scene of an explosion near the government buildings in Norway's capital Oslo on July 22, 2011

    Government minister Hans Kristian Amundsen tells the BBC many hundreds of people would have been in the building - which has 17-18 floors - on a normal day, but he thinks there may have been fewer today because it was a Friday afternoon, and many people may have already left the office.


    Mr Furniss says he hasn't seen many people being treated because the area is cordoned off.

    But he says there is significant damage.

    "I'm surprised that more people haven't been declared dead or injured."

    A riot police officer walks past a cordon

    Olaf Furniss, a reporter in the city, tells the BBC it is impossible to get anywhere the site of the blast.

    He says there are police, military police and plainclothes officers in the area.


    In a statement, Oslo police say confirm "one or several" explosions.

    "So far, police cannot say anything about the scope of the damage, aside from that there's been one or several explosions."

    An Oslo police official tells Associated Press: "There are several people injured."


    An injured man is treated at the scene.

    An injured man

    He says people are believed to still be trapped in the building and the focus is on rescuing people.


    Government minister Hans Kristian Amundsen confirms to the BBC PM Jens Stoltenberg is safe and was not in the building at the time of the bomb.


    James McCarthy, who's a British musician working in Oslo, says he was in a library, about 50 metres from the building nearest to the explosion, when the bomb went off.

    "I just saw the flash - and the force threw myself and a few other people that were trying to go down the first set of stairs that exit the library. It threw us back.

    "The building shook and you know, we hear the bang and everything. The fire alarms went off, so the staff in the library ushered us out."


    Eyewitnesses have been describing the blast to the BBC and news agencies. Read their experiences here.


    Public broadcaster NRK says at least two people have been killed.


    A press officer at Oslo University tells Reuters: "So far I can confirm that we have received seven people at Oslo University Hospital. I don't know how seriously wounded they are."

    1616: Saskia in Oslo

    emails: I was at work a few blocks away when we heard a huge bang and my 10-storey building shook like it had been hit by a crane, or there was an earthquake. We all ran to the side facing central Oslo to see smoke billowing up very high. The smoke didn't last long. No one knew what it was as Oslo has never seen anything like this before. They've sectioned off a large area around the explosion sight with tape and there is glass everywhere. The streets are fuller than i've ever seen and everyone is on phones, although the networks are jamming. There are traffic jams and people wandering around looking shocked. It is especially odd as this is the time of year that everyone is on holiday and abroad. Also, the public sector leave work early on Fridays during the summer so was this targeted to not hurt too many people? It is so shocking for such a normally calm and relaxed city.

    1612: Leif Landsverk

    emails: The city centre is now being evacuated. The central train station is now closed.


    Police in Norway have confirmed the blast was caused by a bomb and that people have been killed and injured.

    1610: Ella Mork in Oslo

    "I was at home, just half a kilometre away when I heard the noise. At first, I thought it was thunder, but then I thought it was a little too loud. I was on my way out and when I arrived at the scene, there was shattered glass everywhere and buildings on fire."


    Olaf Furniss, a reporter in the city, says: "There was a huge blast. All the windows have been blown out from one of the main government buildings, it's a sort of big skyscraper.

    "And that's where the prime minister's office is, one of the main newspapers is based there, and a lot of other government buildings.

    "The whole area has been damaged, there's windows blown out in about a 1km radius, a lot of shock. And I can hear a lot of ambulance and police activity as well."


    US-based news broadcaster ABC is quoting US government sources as saying the explosion was caused by "a massive vehicle bomb".


    There are dramatic pictures on the front page of NRK's website - the public broadcaster reporting that one person has been killed in the blast.

    1558: Ian Dutton in Oslo

    I'm looking down at the explosion site from an adjacent tower hotel. The streams of ambulances remind me of the scenes from around my home on September 11 2001.


    Witness Ben McPherson tells the BBC news channel that Oslo does not have natural gas pipes, although he says some people do keep cannisters in their homes.


    Photos are coming in of the aftermath of the blast in Oslo. View our gallery here.

    1555: Bjorn Magne Slinde

    emails: Smell of ionized air lingers, this appear by the smell as if gas containers have exploded. Police and security forces have sealed off the area. Reports of damaged persons being taken away by ambulances is all over the news.

    1553: Andrew Holmes in Oslo

    emails: My wife was caught by the glass and shockwave of the explosion. She phoned me and I was able to get into Oslo and pick her up. She is in complete shock. The police are moving people away from the area for the third time as they are concerned about the possibility of more explosions. The local TV are saying that there is a big possibility of a terror connection.

    1552: Athar Kaleem in Oslo

    emails: It was a massive explosion, I was at least 1km away from the scene but I felt the explosive in my feet. Everyone had the same feeling. It seems the explosion got very high shock waves as it broken the mirrors at quite larger distances. Now I am near the main place and city is in panic, grief and in tears.


    Back to Ben McPherson, who says he though it was thunder when he first heard the blast from his home.

    "I saw on the Aftenposten website - the main newspaper here - that there were bodies spotted in the government building. This will come as a huge shock and will shatter the innocence of this country," he says.

    1550: Evert Whitehouse in Oslo

    emails: Well it's quite shocking, it seems unreal that places here would be targeted by bombs. Apparently the prime minister is in safety and unharmed according to media reports here. The areas that have been hit, such as the government HQ looks like an urban warzone, glass lies scattered all over the streets and a building is on fire, from what I can see on the television. The areas are being cordoned off by the police in fear of more bombs going off.


    Public broadcaster NRK reports one fatality has been confirmed.


    More from Ingunn Andersen, who says people in Norway generally feel safe and don't expect terrorist attacks to take place in their country.

    There has been no confirmation that the explosion was terrorist-related.


    Briton Ben McPherson, who is in Oslo with his wife, says he heard the blast from about a mile away. "It looks quite bad, the assumption is that it has to be terrorism," he tells the BBC.

    An aerial view in the aftermath of the blast

    Norwegian police issue an official statement confirming "a powerful explosion" has taken place in the government quarter of Oslo.

    1544: Erik in Oslo

    emails: The bomb went of at Youngstorget, in the central parts of Oslo. People are crying in the streets, injured people are taking care of by a huge amount of police and medical forces. People ran from the scene in panic. The police is now evacuating all people from Youngstorget. Windows are shattered up to 400m away. And you could hear the explosion 4km outside Oslo.


    Immediately after the blast people ran towards the building whilst security guards tried to keep others away, saying it was too dangerous, Ingunn Andersen from Norwegian station NRK tells the BBC.


    Neighbouring offices - including those housing some of Norway's leading newspapers and news agency NTB - have been evacuated, Associated Press says.

    The scene in Oslo

    David Lea, Western Europe analyst, at Control Risks tells Reuters it is difficult to tell what has happened.

    "There certainly aren't any domestic Norwegian terrorist groups although there have been some al Qaeda-linked arrests from time to time.

    "They are in Afghanistan and were involved in Libya, but it's far too soon to draw any conclusions."

    1535: Christian Aglen

    tweets: The blast area has been blocked off now...authorities probably trying to get a sense of the situation...


    Police are not commenting on the cause of the explosion in the centre of the Norwegian capital.

    Aftermath of the scene in Oslo

    Eyewitness Ole Tommy Pedersen says he saw the blast shatter almost all of the windows of the high-rise building.

    "I saw three or four injured people being carried out of the building a few minutes later," he tells the Associated Press.

    A cloud of smoke was sent billowing from the bottom floors, he adds.


    A journalist from public radio NRK says: "I see that some windows of the VG building and the government headquarters have been broken. Some people covered with blood are lying in the street."


    Welcome to our live coverage of events in the Norwegian capital Oslo, where an explosion struck this afternoon.

    The blast is thought to have caused damage to the offices of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and a number of other official buildings.


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