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Norway court to decide on detention of bow-and-arrow attacker

KONGSBERG: A Norwegian court will decide on Friday how long a man suspected of killing five people with a bow and arrow and other weapons can initially be held in detention, police said.
Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen who has lived for most of his life in Norway’s Kongsberg municipality where the attacks took place on Wednesday, has acknowledged killing the victims, investigators have said.
Braathen, a convert to Islam who had shown signs of radicalisation, went on a rampage through the small town, attacking people in a store as well as on the streets and in their homes in an apparent “act of terror” according to police.
Four women and one man, all aged between 50 and 70, were killed in what appeared to be a random attack lasting 35 minutes before police apprehended him. Three others, including an off-duty police officer, were wounded.
Braathen is believed to have acted alone and is cooperating with the investigation, police have said.
He will not oppose a request to keep him in detention, his lawyer told reporters on Thursday. The trial in the case is still months away.
“He will also be subjected to a full psychiatric evaluation,” said his lawyer, Fredrik Neumann.
The outcome of that evaluation could determine whether Braathen risks being sentenced to prison, or whether he will instead be committed to psychiatric care.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, who took office on Thursday after winning elections last month, will visit Kongsberg on Friday together with Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl.
The death toll was the worst of any attack in Norway since 2011, when far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers at a youth camp.
The attacks took place over “a large area” of Kongsberg, a municipality of about 28,000 people in southeastern Norway, 68 km (42 miles) from the capital, Oslo.



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