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Suspected “Islamist Terror Act” After Gunman Kills 2 and Injures 21 in Oslo Nightlife District During Annual LGBTQ Pride Festival


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“A gunman opened fire in Oslo’s nightlife district early Saturday, killing two people and leaving more than 20 wounded in what the Norwegian security service called an “Islamist terror act” during the capital’s annual LGBTQ Pride festival,” AP reports.

The suspect, identified as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, was arrested after opening fire at three locations in downtown Oslo.

The victims were shot in and outside the London Pub, a popular LGBTQ+ venue, and near the Herr Nilsen jazz club and another pub.

Two men, one in his 50s and the other his 60s, passed away in the shootings.

Ten people were treated for serious injuries and eleven others had minor injuries.

AP reported:

The Norwegian Police Security Service raised its terror alert level from “moderate” to “extraordinary” — the highest level — after the attack, which sent panicked revelers fleeing into the streets or trying to hide from the gunman.

The service’s acting chief, Roger Berg, called the attack an “extreme Islamist terror act” and said the suspect had a “long history of violence and threats,” as well as mental health issues.

He said the agency, known by its Norwegian acronym PST, first became aware of the suspect in 2015 and later grew concerned he had become radicalized and was part of an unspecified Islamist network.

Norwegian media named the suspect as Zaniar Matapour, an Oslo resident who arrived in Norway with his family from a Kurdish part of Iran in the 1990s.

The suspect’s defense lawyer, John Christian Elden, said his client hadn’t talked to investigators, and he cautioned against speculation on the motive.

“He has not given any reason. It is too early to conclude whether this is hate crime or terrorism,” Elden said in an email to The Associated Press.

The pride parade scheduled for Saturday was canceled upon the advice of police.

“Oslo Pride therefore urges everyone who planned to participate or watch the parade to not show up. All events in connection with Oslo Pride are canceled,” organizers said on the official Facebook page of the event.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a Facebook post that “the shooting outside London Pub in Oslo tonight was a cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people.”

He said that while the motive was unclear, the shooting had caused fear and grief in the LGBTQ community.



 

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