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Norwegians come together to remember massacre victims


Norway

Norwegians come together to remember massacre victims

This time last year, Norway was rocked by an attack that claimed the lives of 77 people and injured 242 others in Oslo and on the island of Utoeya.

Today the country came together to remember the dead.

The coordinated killings by Anders Breivik have been called the worst peacetime massacre in the country’s history.

The Norwegian Royal Family and the country’s prime minister paid their respects to the victims, laying wreaths in the capital.

In an address to the nation, premier Jens Stoltenberg spoke of the country uniting after the tragedy.

He said: “It’s important that we return to a normal life because we want to show that our society can deal with an attack that attempted to change Norway. Instead, Norwegian society has become even stronger – a society that believes in democracy.”

A church ceremony followed in the capital’s main cathedral, where candles were lit.

Stoltenberg and neigbouring Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, later joined relatives of the victims on the island of Utoeya in a display of unity.

Christin Bjelland, a survivor’s mother, said: “All of us who have lost a dear one know that after one year it’s very important to set aside a little bit of time and remember the person we lost, and what happened here is so huge, there were so many affected, that I think it means a lot to come together for those who wish and feel the love and care between all the affected.”

During the minute’s silence, Norwegians also stood together to support tolerance and openness to counter Breivik’s anti-immigrant views.

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