Norway marks a year since massacre


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The Independent Online

Norway yesterday paused to commemorate the 77 victims of a bomb and gun massacre that shocked the peaceful nation one year ago, a tragedy that the Prime Minister said had brought Norwegians together in defence of democracy and tolerance.

Anders Behring Breivik, a 33-year-old far-right-wing fanatic, has admitted to the 22 July 2011 attacks: a bombing of the government district in Oslo, killing eight, and a shooting rampage that left 69 dead at the left-wing Labour Party's youth camp on Utoya island.

In a wreath-laying ceremony at the bomb site, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said Breivik had failed in his goal of destroying Norway's commitment to being an inclusive, multicultural society.

"The bomb and the gunshots were meant to change Norway," Mr Stoltenberg told a sombre crowd of a few hundred people at the ceremony. "The Norwegian people answered by embracing our values. The perpetrator lost. The people won."

During his 10-week trial, which ended in June, Breivik admitted to the attacks, but denied criminal guilt.

The Oslo district court is set to deliver its ruling on 24 August.