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Deaths were necessary, says Norway killer

world Updated: Jul 25, 2011 02:37 IST
Norway’s attacks

The self-confessed perpetrator of Norway’s attacks that killed at least 93 people and wounded nearly 100 more said he acted alone, police said Sunday, as thousands attended a memorial service for the victims.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, is due to appear in court in Oslo on Monday after telling the police that last Friday’s bombing and shooting attack was "cruel" but "necessary".

"He admitted responsibility" for the twin attacks, his lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norwegian media. “He feels that it was cruel to have to carry out these acts but that, in his head, it was necessary.”

At least seven people were killed in a car bomb blast outside government buildings in Oslo on Friday and, hours later, a further 85 were shot dead on the nearby island of Utoeya, where a Labour party youth meeting was being held.

The crimes have caused outrage in Norway amid calls on the Internet for the reinstatement of the death penalty, given the maximum prison sentence the perpetrator can face is 21 years in jail.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja led the nation in mourning at an emotional memorial mass in Oslo Cathedral for the victims.

Stoltenberg said in an address to the hundreds of mourners that the "scale of the evil" would only fully emerge when the names and photographs of the mostly teenaged victims were published.

The head of the populist right-wing Progress Party (FrP), Norway's second-biggest political party, confirmed Behring Breivik had been a member between 1999 and 2006 and for several years a leader in its youth movement. Anti-fascist monitors said Breivik was also a member of a Swedish neo-Nazi Internet forum named Nordisk.

The attacks on Friday afternoon were western Europe's deadliest since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, carried out by al Qaeda, in which 191 people were killed.