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    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    CNN - Authorities: Man accused in Norway terror attacks confesses

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    Authorities: Man accused in Norway terror attacks confesses

    The man accused of killing at least 93 people in Norway has said he carried out the bombing and mass shooting, authorities said Sunday, as an ashen-faced and openly weeping King Harald V led the nation in mourning.

    The suspect has not pleaded guilty, and said he acted alone with no accomplice, acting National Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told reporters Sunday.

    A person wounded in the shootings on Utoya island died Sunday, Oslo University Hospital spokesman Jo Heldaas told CNN, adding one to the previous death toll of 92.

    Also on Sunday, police conducted an operation in the eastern Oslo area of Slettelokka in connection with the bombing, police spokesman Anders Frydenberg told CNN.

    The raid came as Norwegians gathered at a cathedral in the capital, just a few hundred meters from where the bomb exploded Friday, to mourn the victims of the attacks.

    Police have not identified the suspect, though local television and newspaper reports have identified the man in custody as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik.

    Attorney Geir Lippestad, who claimed to represent Breivik, told TV2 late Saturday that his client "is ready to explain himself" on Monday when it is anticipated he will make his first court appearance. Breivik believed the terrorist attacks were "horrible," but "in his head (they) were necessary," Lippestad said.

    CNN was unsuccessful in its attempts to reach Lippestad for comment.

    The revelation came as a 1,500-page manifesto purportedly written by Breivik surfaced.

    Norwegian authorities would not confirm that the man in their custody wrote the manifesto, saying it would be part of the investigation.

    "The manifesto was released on the same day the atrocities happened," Sponheim said.

    "It's also new to us. We will look into the details of the manifesto."

    The document, apparently compiled over a period of nine years, rants against Muslims and their growing presence in Europe, and calls for a European civil war to overthrow governments, end multiculturalism and execute "cultural Marxists."

    While they have arrested only one suspect, Sponheim said authorities have not ruled out the possibility that someone else was involved in the shooting at a political youth retreat on Utoya island. Statements from witnesses to the mass shooting "make it uncertain if it was more than one person," Sponheim said.

    At least four people have not been accounted following the shooting on Utoya island that left at least 86 people dead, and authorities are searching the waters for victims who may have drowned trying to escape the shooter.

    Authorities also are searching for bodies of victims in the bomb attack in downtown Oslo where an explosion badly damaged a number of government buildings as well as the majority Labour Party office.

    "We know that there are remains of bodies in the ruins of the buildings. And it's a bit of a jigsaw puzzle and a very difficult search. There are body parts in the buildings," Sponheim said.

    Seven people have been confirmed dead from the bomb attack. Police said that the explosive was in a car.

    At least 97 people were wounded in the attacks -- 30 in the blast and 67 in the mass shooting, Sponheim said. The identities of the victims will be released once all the next-of-kin have been notified, he said.

    Police declined Sunday to confirm the hospital statement that one of the wounded died, making it unclear if there are now 96 wounded survivors.

    At the service Sunday, billed by the church as a "Mass for grief and hope," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called the attacks "incomprehensible."

    "Soon, names and photographs will be released. The enormity of the evilness will surface in all its horror, and that will be a new test for us all," Stoltenberg said.

    "In the middle of all the tragedy, I am proud to live in a country that has managed to stand tall."

    Other new details emerged Saturday about the attacks.

    An employee at a Norwegian agricultural cooperative told CNN that the man identified in media reports as the suspect bought six tons of fertilizer from her company in May.

    Oddmy Estenstad, of Felleskjopet Agr, said she did not think the order was strange at the time because the suspect has a farm, but after Friday's explosion in Norway's capital, Oslo, she called police because she knew the material can be used to make bombs.

    "We are very shocked that this man was connected to our company," said Estenstad. "We are very sad about what happened."

    Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday offered his "fervent prayers for the victims and families, invoking God's peace upon the dead and divine consolation upon those who suffer."

    "At this time of national grief he prays that all Norwegians will be spiritually united in a determined resolve to reject the ways of hatred and conflict and to work together fearlessly in a shaping a future of mutual respect, solidarity and freedom from for coming generations," according to a statement released by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on behalf of the pope.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed U.S. solidarity with Norway.

    "The United States strongly condemns any kind of terrorism no matter where it comes from or who perpetuates it, and this tragedy strikes right at the heart of the soul of a peaceful people," she said in a statement.

    Together with Norway's king, queen and crown prince, Stoltenberg visited with victims' family members and survivors of the attacks at a hotel.

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