Shooting and bomb attacks left at least 92 dead in western Europe's deadliest carnage since the 2004 Madrid bombings as a Norwegian gunman opened fire at a youth camp and a bomb tore through central Oslo on Friday.
The suspect is a 32-year-old Norwegian who posted anti-Muslim rhetoric online, police commissioner Sveinung Sponheim told NRK television channel, but added: “It's too early to say if this was a motive behind the act.”
Police voiced fears that the death toll could rise as they searched for victims of the shootings at a summer school meeting organised by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's ruling Labour Party on Utoeya, an island outside the capital.
“We have confirmation that at least 80 people are dead. We do not exclude a higher toll,” police spokesman Are Frykholm told AFP, speaking of the shooting spree on the island.
Police had earlier confirmed that seven people were killed as a powerful bomb ripped through central Oslo — where the Prime Minister's office and several government buildings are located — and nine were critically injured.
The Norwegian suspect in the attacks described himself as a fundamentalist Christian, said police, as evidence emerged that he had flirted with the political far-right.
The 32-year-old, previously unknown to police, was arrested on Friday. Local media have identified him as Anders Behring Breivik, whose picture on his Facebook page shows a man with longish blonde hair and piercing eyes.
The posting lists his religion as “fundamentalist Christian” and his political opinions lean “to the right,” police said.
Mr. Stoltenberg said the culprits would not intimidate one of Europe's most peaceful countries.
“People have lived through a nightmare that very few of us can imagine,” he said. “The coming days will show who is responsible and what kind of punishment they will get.
“The message to whoever attacked us, the message from all of Norway is that you will not destroy us, you will not destroy our democracy and our ideals for a better world.”
Western leaders denounced the attacks and vowed solidarity with NATO member Norway — an enthusiastic participant in international military missions that has forces in Afghanistan and is participating in air strikes in Libya.
Mr. Stoltenberg had been due to give a speech on Saturday to the 560 people attending the youth camp on the island.
Witnesses described scenes of panic and horror after the gunman, who police said was disguised as a police officer but had never worked for the police force, opened fire on the youth gathering.
“I saw a lot of people running and screaming, I ran to the nearest building and hid under a bed,” Emilie Bersaas, 19, told Britain's Sky News.
“It is kind of unreal, especially in Norway... This is something we hear about happening in the U.S.”
Another young survivor, Jorgen Benone, said: “People were hiding behind stones. I saw people being shot... I felt it was best to stay quiet, not to run into the open.