Death Toll Rises to 77 in Massacre As Norway Mourns, Buries Victims

Posted July 29th, 2011 at 3:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Norway began burying the victims of last week's massacre, as the death toll from last week's bombing and shooting rampage rose to 77.

The latest victim, who was not identified, died in a hospital of wounds suffered during the attack on Utoeya island.

Earlier Friday, Norwegians honored the memory of the victims as the first funerals were held a week after the attacks that traumatized the country.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg led a somber national memorial service in the capital, Oslo, Friday, with members of the ruling Labor Party raising bouquets of flowers as each speaker took the stage.

Mr. Stoltenberg said the evil that hit Norway last Friday has brought out the best in its people, and called on the nation to unite around its core values of democracy and peace.

Flags flew at half-staff across the country to mark a day of remembrance, as the first victims were put to rest.

An 18-year-old Muslim girl, a Kurdish immigrant from Iraq, was buried in Nesodden, south of Oslo, and a 19-year-old was buried near Hamar, north of the capital. The two were among 69 people shot dead at a youth camp on Utoeya island.

Anders Behring Breivik, who confessed to that attack and the bomb blast in Oslo, underwent his second police interrogation Friday. Police said the 32-year-old Norwegian remained calm during the questioning, which was to focus on whether there is any more danger following last week's killings.

While Breivik admitted responsibility for the killings, he has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges. Norway's top prosecutor says it is possible Breivik also may be charged with crimes against humanity.

The suspect claimed to be part of a wider “crusade” against Muslim immigration and multiculturalism in Europe. He was questioned for seven hours last Saturday, the day after the assault. Investigators believe he acted alone after years of careful planning and have found no evidence to support his claims.

On Thursday, European Union counterterrorism experts met in Brussels to discuss ways to prevent potential copycat attacks.

The violence was the deadliest in Norway since World War Two.

Domestic critics say Norwegian police were slow to respond to the shooting attack on Utoeya, where hundreds of youth activists had gathered for a ruling Labor Party retreat.

Utoeya is about 40 kilometers from Oslo, where Breivik detonated a car bomb shortly before going to the island. The blast killed eight people and wrecked the office building of Prime Minister Stoltenberg.