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Norway bow and arrow attacks: Danish citizen charged as death toll reaches five

Danish

Norway bow and arrow attacks: Danish citizen charged as death toll reaches five

A 37-year-old Danish citizen has been arrested and charged after five people were killed and two others injured in an attack using a bow and arrows in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, police said.

The suspect lived in the town and was transported to the nearby town of Drammen on Wednesday night, the police said in a statement issued early on Thursday.

Police were interrogating the suspect and he was talking, his defence lawyer said. “He is cooperating and is giving detailed statements regarding this event,” his lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, told public broadcaster NRK.

Neumann said his client was “deeply affected” and would be remanded in custody later on Thursday. He declined to comment further beyond saying the suspect’s mother was Danish, but it was not known whether he had ever lived there.

Øyvind Aas, the police chief in Kongsberg, about 70km south-west of the capital, Oslo, told a press conference earlier on Wednesday night that the alleged attacker had been arrested and “according to our information, is the only person implicated”.

Aas said there had been “a confrontation” between officers and the assailant, but he did not elaborate. Two people were in intensive care, including an off-duty police officer.

Aas declined to comment on press reports that a police officer had been shot in the back. He said the attacks happened over “a large area” of the town and several crime scenes were involved.

The acting prime minister, Erna Solberg, described reports of the attack as “horrifying” and said it was too early to speculate on the man’s motive.

“I understand that many people are afraid, but it’s important to emphasise that the police are now in control,” she told a news conference.

The prime minister-designate, Jonas Gahr Støre, who is expected to take office on Thursday, called the assault “a cruel and brutal act” in comments to Norwegian news agency NTB.

The alleged attacker’s motive was not yet clear, Aas said, but police were not ruling out terrorism. “One person has performed these actions alone,” he said. “It is natural to consider whether it is an act of terrorism. But the man has not been questioned and it is too early to come to any conclusion.”

NRK said police in Kongsberg, a municipality of about 28,000 people, received reports at 6.13pm local time that a man was walking around the town centre firing a bow and arrow.

A woman who witnessed some of the attack, Hansine, told TV2 she had heard a disturbance, then saw a woman taking cover and “a man standing on the corner with arrows in a quiver on his shoulder and a bow in his hand”.

“Afterwards, I saw people running for their lives. One of them was a woman holding a child by the hand,” she said.

A “large number” of police, as well as helicopters, dogs and armed response teams secured the area soon afterwards, Aas said, and the suspect was arrested about 30 minutes later after a brief confrontation with officers.

The shooting appears to have started in or near a Coop store in the city centre where there were several casualties, Norwegian media reported, citing regional government officials who said details were “still very confused”.

A Coop spokesperson, Harald Kristiansen, told NRK there had been “a serious incident in our store” but no employees were among the injured. “We are providing assistance to our colleagues and helping police with their investigation,” he said.

“A lot of resources were sent from several places, including Oslo police district, the bomb squad, national police and emergency response teams,” Aas told journalists. “There is still a lot of police activity across the area. They are securing the various crime scenes … and have many witnesses to interview.”

A woman, who lived near the Coop store said she had heard alarms as she was walking home. “I saw a group of police officers, including one who held several arrows in his hand,” the woman, Marit Hoefle, told Aftenposten newspaper.

Kari Anne Sand, Kongsberg’s mayor, told VG newspaper the attack was “a tragedy for all those involved. I have no words”. Sand said a crisis team had been installed in a hotel to support those affected. “We are doing all we can,” she added. “Right now it is a chaotic situation and there are a lot of rumours.”

Shortly after the attack Norway’s national police directorate said it had ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed.

“This is an extra precaution. The police have no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level,” the directorate said in a statement.

Agence France-Presse and Reuters contributed to this report

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Ondo Govt reacts to court judgement declaring new LCDAs ‘illegal’

The Ondo State Government says necessary legal action will be taken on the judgement nullifying the creation of the 33 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

The government’s reaction is contained in a statement by the Attorney General of Ondo State, Mr Kayode Ajulo SAN, made available to  newsmen on Friday in Akure.

Justice A.O Adebusuoye of the state High Court had in a judgement on Thursday described the creation of the LCDAs as unlawful.

The court said it was illegal for a governor to sign a law outside the State.

The court said that the Local Government Creation Law 2023 signed by the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ibadan was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

The statement said the government has taken cognizance of Ondo State High Court’s judgement and had requested for a Certified True Copy of it.

Ajulo said after it was studied and analysed, a legal opinion would be presented to the state government.

“Subsequently, all necessary measures, in accordance with our laws, will be taken to safeguard the interests of our citizens, foster peaceful coexistence, and uphold the rule of law.

“The Attorney General remains steadfast in his commitment to prioritizing the well-being and welfare of our citizens, working tirelessly to ensure that justice and the law are served,” the statement said.

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LASTMA impounds 40 vehicles in Oyingbo, ijora, idumota axis

The  Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has impounded another 25 commercial and 15 private vehicles operating illegal garages and causing serious road obstructions around Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota areas of  Lagos.

Mr Taofiq Adebayo, Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Adebayo said impounding the vehicles at these areas was a decisive move by LASTMA to restore order and ensure the free flow of traffic.

He said the operation was led by LASTMA Head of Enforcement, Mr Kayode Odunuga, under the directives of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Sola Giwa.

Adebayo that they were specifically directed to target illegal garages that had been a persistent source of congestion and inconvenience for residents and commuters.

He said the impoundment, which began in recent weeks, was part of a broader initiative by the  Lagos State Government to enhance the efficiency of the city’s transportation network.

He quoted Giwa as emphasising that government is committed to maintaining law and order on the roads, ensuring that all traffic regulations are strictly enforced.

“illegal garages have been a significant challenge in our quest to maintain a seamless traffic flow in Lagos.

“These impoundments send a strong message to all offenders that the state will not tolerate activities that disrupt public order and endanger the lives of our citizens.

“Our goal is to create a safe and orderly environment for all road users and this action is a crucial step in that direction,” Giwa said.

He noted that the targeted areas, Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota, are known hotspots for traffic congestion due to unauthorised parking and the establishment of makeshift garages.

He said that these activities not only obstruct the free movement of vehicles but also pose safety risks to pedestrians.

“LASTMA’s intervention aims to clear these bottlenecks and enhance the overall traffic situation in these critical areas.

“Residents and business owners have expressed their support for the government’s action, noting the positive impact it will have on their daily activities.

“LASTMA has also assured the public that the operation will be sustained and extended to other parts of the city where illegal garages and related activities are prevalent,” he quoted Giwa as saying.

He urged all vehicle owners and operators to adhere to the state’s traffic regulations and cooperate with authorities to avoid sanctions.

He reiterated that the government’s primary objective was to create a better and more livable Lagos for everyone.

He also urged motorists to take ownership of the roads and to promptly inform LASTMA of any broken down or abandoned trailers or trucks via the Agency’s hotlines: 0810056586008129928503.

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Emir of Ilorin commiserates with Saraki over mother’s death

Nigeria in very bad shape, only PDP can rebuild it —Saraki

Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has commiserated with a former Senate President,  Dr Bukola Saraki, over the death of his mother, Mrs Florence Saraki.

This is contained in a condolence message issued by the emir’s Spokesman, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, on Wednesday in Ilorin.

Mrs Saraki died on Tuesday at the age of 89.

Sulu-Gambari described the deceased as a wonderful mother, great philanthropist and virtuous wife to  Dr Olusola Saraki, the late Waziri of Ilorin, whose contributions to humanity would forever be remembered.

According to him, the deceased lived a fulfilled life, with numerous accomplishments.

The royal father urged Saraki, a two-term governor of Kwara, and his siblings to be strong in heart over the demise of their beloved mother.

Sulu-Gambari, who is also the Chairman of Kwara Traditional Rulers’ Council, extended his condolences to both the immediate and extended family members of the Saraki dynasty.

“I pray that Almighty Allah grants the family and friends the fortitude to bear the great loss,” he said.

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