Thursday,
17 August 2017
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Norway PM says to set up commission to review attacks,pledges open society

Norway`s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg...

Norway`s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that an independent commission would be set up to review Friday`s deadly twin attacks that killed 76 people, while pledging that his country will confront the tragedy with more openness and democracy, according to Xinhua.

Speaking to the press at his residence, Stoltenberg said it is important to clarify all aspects of the attacks in order to draw lessons from what has happened.

The Commission, the prime minister said, would be independent with its own secretariat and report directly to himself.

In addition, the government has decided to cover the expenses from the funeral and memorial services of the victims in both the bombing and shooting attacks.

In an earlier press conference, Stoltenberg expressed his gratitude to condolences and support from the international community, and reiterated that the priority of the government at this stage is to the take care of the wounded and those who lost their friends and family members.

Stoltenberg praised the Norwegians for their solidarity. "The Norwegian society in a whole has taken part in this effort and it is great to see the strong sympathy from all Norwegians," he said.

Stoltenberg also stressed that Norwegian society would remain open, saying that "it`s absolutely possible to have an open, democratic, inclusive society, and at the same time have security measures and not be naive."

Meanwhile, Oslo police is still on alert to possible attacks.

A suspicious suitcase was found in a bus at the Oslo central railway station Wednesday morning but it turned out to be a false alarm, according to Oslo police.

A man dressed in dark clothes and wearing a white cap left a dark blue suitcase in one of the buses the railway authorities have been using to shuttle passengers from and to the railway station, which is under reconstruction.

The bus driver, seeing the man take out his mobile phone and leave the bus at a fast pace, immediately informed the railway authorities NSB after an American passenger saw the suspicious suitcase.

Police used bomb dogs to search the bus and the surrounding area but found no explosives, the Norwegian news agency NTB reported.

Despite the false alarm, Oslo has seen signs of recovery from the tragedy. Some of the government offices in the blast zone are already moving back from their temporary locations.

"Our office will move back during today or tomorrow, I think, but maybe some of our offices will be used by other ministries, we are working on that these days, " said Rigmor Aasrud, Norwegian Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs.

Aasrud told Xinhua at her office that fortunately, the building that hosted her ministry was not damaged by the explosion, and only one personnel in her ministry had suffered minor injury.

Just less than a hundred meters away, there is a scene of total devastation. Workers have already started clearing debris and loading materials for reparations of the prime minister`s office.

It is still unknown how long it would take for everything to be back to normal, Aasrud said.

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