Statement on the attacks in Kongsberg

This is an important day for those of us who have been given responsibility as members of the new Government. It is also a very strange day on which to present a new Government.

Statsminister Jonas Gahr Støre på sin første pressekonferanse som statsminister.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (photo NTB Kommunikasjon/Office of the Prime Minister).

All of us in Norway, in Kongsberg, and as a community, were witness to a savage attack on innocent people last night.

And in the course of last night, this morning and this afternoon, we have learned more about the horrifying incident that took place. The brutal acts targeted towards innocent people and the uncertainty and fear these have brought to the community of Kongsberg and to our country at large.

I am glad that the police are now confirming that they have caught the suspect.

But the outcome is still deeply tragic. Five people lost their lives and two are seriously injured.

The Minister of Justice and I, on behalf of the entire new Government, have focused on ensuring that those who are providing assistance in Kongsberg, the police, the municipal authorities, the crisis response team, the health care workers, all have the resources they need to do their jobs.

I spoke with the Mayor of Kongsberg this afternoon. The Minister of Justice and I hope to visit Kongsberg during the day tomorrow to offer our support and to talk with people to hear more about what they have experienced.

This shows how vulnerable our society is.

It is not easy for us to determine the motive for this act, or to understand the context behind it. It is up to the police to conclude their investigations and provide clarification.

Maintaining preparedness in a society is a highly complex task. Preparedness must be channelled through the services we have. A police force that is able to mobilise, clarify and find answers. But we must also have the preparedness needed across our society as a whole to prevent this type of serious incident from happening.

Earlier today, I pointed out that two of the ministers in the new Government were present on Utøya on 22 July 2011. Six other members of our political staff were on Utøya as well. That was an act of terror. What happened yesterday of course makes us recall all those who have experienced such terrible things before. We stand together with them.