24 Jul 2011

Norway mourns victims of shootings and bomb blast

As Norwegians mourn the victims of Friday’s attacks a Ugandan survivor of the Utoya island shooting tells Channel 4 News about his attempts to rescue a woman from the water.

A memorial service, one of many across the country, was held at Oslo Cathedral as the nation mourned its dead and braced itself for the number of victims to rise still further.

King Harald, his wife Queen Sonja and the Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, visited grieving relatives of the young people gunned down, while buildings around the capital lowered their flags to half-mast and people streamed to the cathedral to light candles and lay flowers.

Ninety-two people are known to have died in the two attacks and dozens more have been injured.

Anders Behring Breivik has admitted carrying out the attacks but has denied breaking the law.

One of the men on the island was Ugandan Sam Muyizzi who told Channel 4 News he hid in a tree to avoid being shot.

He said: “I watched him (the gunman) shoot so many people so many times.”

Sam is not a strong swimmer but he cut his feet and hands to rescue a girl who was drowning in the water: “I saw this girl was dying so I had to forcefully lift her … she relaxed and she swam in a relaxed way and later on I met her and she was OK.”

The Norwegian Prime Minister says the response to the attacks on Norway will be more freedom, more democracy but not naivety (Reuters)

The Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg paid tribute to the victims.

“Today it is time for sorrow and we shall allow ourselves to stop and honour the dead. Mourn for those who are no longer with us. Ninety-two human lives are lost. Several are still missing. Everyone of those is a tragedy. Together, they make a national tragedy.

“I’m proud to live in a country that has managed to stand together in the face of tragedy. I am impressed over how much dignity, care and strength we have.”

The Prime Minister vowed that the response to the attacks would be “more freedom, more democracy but not naivety”

Flowers and candles were also placed outside the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London, which remained open today to provide support to anyone who needed it, its flag flying at half mast.

A spokesman said: “People have come to the embassy to express their sympathies. I read some of the notes they left and some were in Norwegian but most were in English.”

British police stood ready to help detectives in Norway investigating the massacre, with Home Secretary Theresa May offering Norwegian justice minister Knut Storberget any assistance needed.

She joined a series of senior political figures and the Queen in expressing sympathy in the wake of the attacks.