Norway marked the tenth anniversary of the Utøya massacre, the worst terror attack in the country’s recent history.
On July 22, 2011, a white Norwegian right-wing extremist set off a bomb that killed eight people at Government Headquarters in Oslo.
Then, he proceeded to the small island of Utøya, some 60km from the capital, where he massacred 69 people, most of them teenagers attending the annual summer camp of the social-democratic Labour Party Youth (AUF), in a shooting spree that lasted well over an hour.
A decade after the events, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven paid a visit to the island to respect the victims and meet survivors.
He was accompanied by Astrid Hoem, leader of the AUF and a survivor of the shooting, and Jonas Gahr Store, leader of the Norwegian Labour Party.
Speaking at a news conference after the tour, Hoem said it was “difficult and strange” to recall the events of 10 years ago.
“At that time,” she said, “We lost our friends when they were 14, 15, 18 years old. But today, we also lost the opportunity to know them as they would have been 24, 26, 28 years old.”
She added: “I think in the days after July 22, it was so important that we stood together, that we talked about love winning over hate and that we talked about it as an attack on all of Norway.
“But… It was also a political attack on AUF and the Labour Party. And we see that in recent years, both here in Norway and the rest of Europe, right-wing extremism is on the rise.”
Politicians, members of the Norwegian royal family, and victims’ family members have attended the memorial ceremony at the government office complex in Oslo. The names of the 69 victims have been readout.