Friday, July 22, 2011

LDS Mission President Armand Johansen Provides An Account Of The Oslo Bombing

The combined bombing in downtown Oslo, Norway and the mass shooting on the island of Utøya have produced 87 known fatalities so far, seven in Oslo (with an additional 90 injured) and the remaining 80 on Utøya. Armand Johansen, president of the Norway Oslo Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was not one of the casualties, but he provided a first hand account to KSL Channel 5.

Johansen, who was one-half mile away from the epicenter of the explosion, was struck by the power of the blast. "We just heard a big, huge bang and felt the force. (It) sounded like an enormous, like a lightning bolt had just gone off outside the office building," he said. "When the bomb went off, all the windows to our office there in the youth center blew open, they swung open on their hinges. The glass didn't break, but the windows went open. It was that big of a blast." Johansen added that all 50 missionaries under his charge are safe and accounted for. KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

In the rest of the news, police have arrested 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, a self-described nationalist with no criminal record who was opposed to the spread of Islam into Norway and to the transformation of Norway into a multicultural society. Police believe Breivik is responsible for both the bombing and the shooting; he had been spotted in downtown Oslo just before the massive bomb exploded at 3:26pm on Friday July 22nd, and they have linked him to that explosion as well as the massacre. The explosion is believed to have resulted from a car bomb specifically parked to target the building where Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg worked. The prime minister was unhurt and went on Norwegian television to say that those who attacked Norway will not destroy their democracy or their commitment to a better world.

On Utøya, 700 AUF (Labour Party) members were at the camp and many had assembled for an information session on the bombing in Oslo. Breivik reportedly arrived on the island dressed in a police uniform and then started shooting. Investigators later found explosives on the island that had not been detonated.

An English-language website, Views and News from Norway, is providing good on-the-scene coverage of the attack and its aftermath. CNN also has an updated story and a photo gallery.

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