PM: We must fight for freedom and tolerance

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The Independent Online

Norway's Prime Minister urged his countrymen to look after each other and be vigilant for intolerance, as the nation concluded a month of mourning with a candlelit memorial service yesterday to the 77 people killed by a right-wing extremist.

Speaking at the ceremony in Oslo, Jens Stoltenberg said: "We need you. No matter where you live, no matter which God you worship, each and every one of us can take responsibility and can guard freedom."

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has admitted carrying out the 22 July killings – first detonating a car bomb outside government offices in Oslo, and then shooting dead 69 others at a youth camp on the island of Utoya.

The Prime Minister, who received standing ovations from the 6,700 relatives, survivors and officials in the audience during his speech, said: "Together we are an unbreakable chain of care, democracy and safety – that is our protection against violence. Today time stops in order to remember those who died." Addressing the sombre gathering, Norway's King Harald said he felt for each person in the country, but that he was certain Norway would surmount its pain. "I firmly believe that we will uphold our ability to live freely and securely in our country," he said.

As the names of each one of the 77 victims were read out loud, some relatives broke out in loud sobs while others sat in silence.

Elsewhere in the city, flags flew at half-mast as people lay flowers and children blew soap bubbles outside the cathedral.

The ceremony included performances by some of Norway's top musical names, such as the 1980s pop group A-ha, the soprano Sissel Kyrkjeboe, and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.