Norway Mosque Shooting

al-Noor Islamic Centre in the Baerum districtA gunman armed with multiple weapons has opened fire in a mosque near the Norwegian capital, Oslo, wounding one person before being overpowered by worshippers, police and witnesses said.

The suspected shooter at the al-Noor Islamic Centre in the Baerum district was “a young white man” who appeared to have acted alone, police said on Saturday.

Police were alerted to the shooting shortly after 1400 GMT.

They first reported that the victim had been shot, but later said one person had sustained “minor injuries” and that it was unclear if they were gunshot wounds.

The victim was a 75-year-old member of the congregation, mosque director Irfan Mushtaq told TV2.

Mushtaq said he had arrived at the scene shortly after being alerted about the gunman, and had gone to the back of the building while waiting for police to arrive.

“The man carried two shotgun-like weapons and a pistol. He broke through a glass door and fired shots,” Mushtaq said, adding that the shooter wore body armour and a helmet.

He was overpowered by members of the mosque before police arrived, the mosque director said.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg expressed her sympathy with those who had been present at the mosque or were affected.

“It should be safe to go to the mosque, church or other worship places,” she said in a statement, adding it was too early to speculate over a possible motive.

Police said they were assessing whether it would be necessary to step up security at mosques on Sunday, the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

The al-Noor Islamic Centre earlier this year implemented extra security measures following the massacre of more than 50 people at two New Zealand mosques by a self-described white supremacist.

Norway was the scene of one of the worst-ever attacks by supporters of the far-right in July 2011, when 77 people were killed by Anders Behring Breivik.

Breivik said he was motivated by his hatred of multiculturalism, and detonated a massive bomb and then opened fire on a gathering of the Labour Party’s youth wing on the island of Utoya.


al-Noor Islamic Centre in the Baerum district
A Norwegian riot policeman stands in front of the al-Noor islamic center mosque [AFP]

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