Finally, Norway gunman goes on trial

Last Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 10:01

Oslo: Anders Behring Breivik will go on trial in Norway next Monday charged with committing "acts of terror" when he slaughtered 77 people in twin attacks in July that shook the tranquil Scandinavian country to its core.

While there is no doubt the 33-year-old right-wing extremist is the killer -- he has confessed but refused to plead guilty -- the main unresolved question is his mental state and whether he will be sent to prison or a closed psychiatric ward.

On July 22, Breivik first set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people and injuring more than 200 others.

He then travelled to the small island of Utoeya northwest of the capital where the ruling Labour Party`s youth organisation was hosting a summer camp.

Dressed as a police officer, he spent more than an hour methodically shooting and killing another 69 people, mainly terrified teenagers trapped in by the icy waters of the surrounding lake.

Never before has a shooting by a single individual claimed as many victims, according to Jack Levin and James Alan Fox, the authors of several books on serial killers and mass murderers.

"There have been larger massacres using other kinds of weapons, but none so large by gunfire," said Levin, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University in Boston.

"Terrorists are usually interested in maximising body counts, so they use explosives," as in the Oklahoma City bombing which killed 168 people in April 1995, he wrote in an e-mail to a news agency. (AFP)

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 10:01

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