King Harald and the Norwegian Royal Family have offered their condolences following a bow and arrow attack in the Norwegian city of Kongsberg. At the time of publication, it has been confirmed that five people were been killed in the attack on Wednesday evening by a 37-year-old Danish national. Several of the killings are said to have taken place inside a grocery store. Many more are injured, including a police officer.
In a letter to the mayor of Kongsberg, His Majesty King Harald expresses the following message on behalf of the Royal Family: “We are appalled by the tragic events at Kongsberg last night. We sympathise with the relatives and injured in the grief and despair. And we think of all those affected in Kongsberg who have experienced that their safe local environment suddenly became a dangerous place”.
The message continues: “It shakes us all when horrible things happen near us, when you least expect it, in the middle of everyday life on the open street. Norway is a small country. When Kongsberg is now hit as hard as society, the rest of the nation stands with you. We send warm thoughts to everyone who is now facing a difficult time and everyone who has demanding work tasks ahead of them. It is our hope that security will be restored so that fear does not become entrenched”.
Norway is on red alert and security around The Royal Family and politicians have been tightened following the incident. On Thursday, Norway will install a new government and strict security has been implemented around the ceremonies that will take place in Oslo. The suspect is known to the police from earlier incidents with Norwegian media reporting that the man converted to Islam and may have been radicalised.
The attack has created international headlines. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations issued the following statement on Twitter: “I am shocked and saddened by the tragic news coming from Norway. My thoughts are with the victims’ loved ones and all the people of Norway at this very difficult moment”.