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On July 22, 2011 at 15:26 local time, there was an explosion close to the Regjeringskvartalet (The Government quarter), a collection of buildings in the centre of Norwegian capital city Oslo. The complex houses several of the key offices of the Norwegian government, and is located around 300m away from the main Parliament building.

Two hours after the explosion, there was a shooting incident at Utøya, an island around 35km away from Oslo. Apparently, a "tall and blonde" male dressed in a police uniform had opened fire at a Labour Youth conference that was taking place on the island. Around 700 people, mostly aged 15-16, were on the island during the attack.

Preliminary reports indicate that seven deaths resulted from the explosion, and there are ten confirmed deaths after the shooting incident. Later figures put the death toll from Utøya at 'more than 80'.

One person has been arrested. Norwegian police confirms that the arrested male is a Norwegian citizen.

According to eyewitness reports, the suspect was described as a white male, aged 30-40 years old. He was dressed in a bulletproof vest and police uniform. The man was transported to the island by the Labour Youth's own boat, after he told a guard that he was to do a routine control ahead of the Prime Minister's visit the day after. The man was armed with a rifle with a scope, and a handgun.

Update The arrested man is confirmed as Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year old Norwegian who was born and raised in Oslo, Norway. On July 17th, he created a Twitter account (@AndersBBreivik) where he made a single tweet; "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests", a quote from John Stuart Mill.

Breivik has a firearms license, and did, according to Norwegian weapon registries, own a Glock handgun, a rifle, and a shotgun. On online forums and social networking sites, he has long been posting strongly anti-multiculturalism sentiments. On the anti-islamic website Document.no, Breivik argued, among other things, that "the current battle is between nationalism and internationalism". He made it clear in this post and others that he considers himself a nationalist.

There's a portrait photograph of Breivik here.

I know both venues of the attack very well - I used to work near the site of the explosion, and attended ungkulturfestivalen at Utøya quite a few years in a row. Reading that write-up in the context of what happened on the island today is... Painful.

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