Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has laid a wreath to commemorate the second anniversary of Norway’s bomb and shooting attacks. A court sentenced a right-wing extremist to 21 years for the 2011 attacks, which killed 77.
In a short speech at the government buildings targeted in Oslo where eight were killed, Stoltenberg (pictured) urged citizens to stand together and remain faithful to the core values of Norwegian society. Stoltenberg plans to attend a memorial service at Oslo Cathedral later Monday before traveling to the island of Utoya outside the capital, where the shooter Anders Behring Breivik killed 69 people in a shooting spree at a Labour Party youth camp.
"We must never relinquish our values that were attacked on July 22: humanity, diversity, solidarity and an open community," Stoltenberg said. "They are our most powerful weapon and our strongest defense against violence and terror. Norway should be an open democracy in which everyone is able to live without fear."
In the wreath-laying ceremony at the government headquarters Monday, Stoltenberg also said that society had to stand up to the "populist right-wing parties" on the rise in Europe, as well as extremist threats from Islamists. Breivik, 34, had said he aimed to punish Stoltenberg’s ruling Labour Party for its immigration policies and efforts toward multiculturalism.
mkg/rc (AP, dpa)
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