Norway rallies to remember victims of twin attacks


A young woman holds a white rose while standing on a balcony overlooking a vigil in Oslo attended by some 150,000 people holding flowers in a show of solidarity with the victims of recent attacks in Norway, on July 25, 2011. At least 76 were killed on July 22 in a bombing of government buildings in central Oslo and a series of shootings at a Labour Party youth camp on an island just outside the capital. Central Oslo streets were closed to traffic because of the vigil, which had originally been planned as a 'flower march' but it was decided that people should stay in one place because of the large numbers turning up.



Norwegians held emotional rallies around the country Monday evening to remember the victims of the bombing in Oslo and mass shooting on a nearby island that combined killed at least 76 people.

More than 150,000 people attended rallies in Oslo and other cities in Norway, holding up roses in memory of the eight people killed in the downtown bombing and the 68 who died at a youth camp on Utoya island.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg addressed the crowd, saying: "By taking part, you are saying a resounding 'yes' to democracy."

He called it a "march for democracy, a march for tolerance, a march for unity,” the BBC reports.

"Evil can kill a person but never conquer a people," Stoltenberg said.

Earlier in the day, the prime minister led Norway in a moment of silence for the victims.

On Monday, Norwegian police reduced the death toll from both attacks from 93 to 76, citing confusion in gathering information in the wake of the island shooting spree.

The official number of people killed in the Oslo bombing has gone up by one to eight, while the count from the mass shooting fell from 86 to 68.

The 32-year-old Norwegian suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, appeared in court to face terrorism charges, where he calmly accepted responsibility for both attacks but denied he had committed a crime.

Breivik was ordered held in solitary confinement.

(More in-depth coverage from GlobalPost: Is Anders Behring Breivik part of a movement? and Norway's Christian terrorist leads to soul-searching)

Prosecutor Christian Hatlo said Breivik claimed he had worked in a cell, and that there were two other cells working with him.

Hatlo said that Breivik expects to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The suspect’s father, Jens Breivik, told Norway’s TV2 that wishes his son had killed himself.

Jens Breivik, a former diplomat who lives in France and divorced Anders’ mother in 1980, told a reporter that he is ashamed and disgusted by his son's acts, and that he will never return to Norway.