Police in Norway have arrested a 37-year-old Danish citizen suspected of killing five people in a bow-and-arrow attack in the town of Kongsberg.
Two others were injured in the attack in the town, which lies about 68km (42 miles) southwest of the capital, Oslo, police said on Thursday. The motive behind the attack on Wednesday evening remains unclear.
Police gave the suspect’s nationality but did not identify him in the statement. It said in part:
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.
The suspect, who was apprehended 20 minutes after the attack began, is believed to have been acting alone, police said earlier.
The suspect allegedly walked around the city shooting people with arrows. Norwegian police said they will investigate whether the attack amounted to an act of terrorism. Police Chief Oyvind Aas said:
Given how events unfolded, it is natural to assess whether this is a terrorist attack.
The arrested man has not been interviewed and it is too early to say anything about his motives.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the reports from Kongsberg were “horrifying”.
The attacks took place over “a large area” of Kongsberg, which is home to about 28,000 people, police said.
Following the attacks, the police directorate said it had immediately ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms.
Norwegian police are usually unarmed, but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed.
Armed violence is rare in Norway, but the country has suffered far-right attacks in the past.
Anders Behring Breivik carried out twin attacks that killed 77 people on July 22, 2011.
Breivik first set off a bomb in the capital Oslo next to the building that housed the prime minister’s office, then went on a shooting spree at a summer camp for left-wing youths on the island of Utoya.