Video: Norway survivors return to scene of mass killings

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    >>> it was an emotional day on a tiny island in norway where survivors of the massacre of 69 people at a youth camp returned to the scene to remember the friends and relatives they lost. we get our report tonight from nbc's jay gray.

    >> reporter: the boat ride may have been just five minutes. but it was a difficult journey.

    >> i was scared and also filled with a little bit of anxiety. the images from last time were so horrible.

    >> reporter: these are the last images this man and so many survivors had of utoya.

    >> we escaped our lives. everything was about getting away from it there. i was a bit scared and worried, yeah.

    >> caller: worried about what he would feel as he went back. a trip that he made on this fer ferry, the same boat that the confessed killer, andres breivik, used the day of the deadly attack. but as he coasted into the island where he spent the last ten summers, the sounds of screams and bullet gave way to o a decade of what was so good about this place.

    >> it's ten years with good memories and one year with bad memories. but that was the result of one man. but the good memories from all those years is the results from hundreds and hundreds of good friends. so.

    >> reporter: he left personal memorials to friends who did not survive. none of those who escape that is horrific day will ever stand alone again.

    >> we are going to be veterans all our lives of this day that happened. we're going to be friends. we're going to know each other and we are hugging each other still.

    >> reporter: and holding tight to the memories 69 friends lost. jay gray, nbc news, just off

Image: Survivors of the Utoeya shooting massacre walk on the shore of Utoeya island
Fabrizio Bensch  /  Reuters
Survivors of the Utoya shooting massacre walk on the shore of Utoya island, 25 miles northwest of Oslo, on Saturday.
By
updated 8/20/2011 2:23:09 PM ET 2011-08-20T18:23:09

Survivors of a massacre which claimed the lives of 69 people in Norway last month carried flowers to the site of the killings Saturday, laughter blending with tears as they remembered the joys of an island youth camp that turned into a scene of horror.

Norway's criminal police chief said Utoya island was "filled with flowers, candles, pictures, poems," after returning from Utoya which he visited with survivors.

Jon Staale Stamnes told reporters that the survivors had "very different" reactions. "Some had — of course — traumatic experiences and it's clear to us that it's a really tough time for them," he said. "But also there's laughter, there's good stories, so there's a total mix and blend of emotions today."

Many lit candles and laid handwritten notes in memory of their friends at the sites where they were shot during the summer camp organized by the youth wing of Norway's Labor Party.

Video: Norway shooting survivors return to island (on this page)

Eskil Pedersen, the leader of the party's youth organization, said his visit to the island with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and several hundred youth politicians had been "heavy, but fine."

"It was incredibly good to see them (the survivors) smiling again on Utoya," Pedersen told reporters.

Up to 1,000 survivors and relatives were expected on Utoya, accompanied by police and medical staff, to face the painful memories of the shooting spree by a right-wing extremist.

Stoltenberg — the leader of the Norwegian Labor Party — said he had wanted to visit Utoya "to take part in their mourning and be there for them."

Image: Survivors of the Utoeya shooting massacre arrive at Utoeya island
Fabrizio Bensch  /  Reuters
Survivors of the Utoeya shooting massacre arrive at Utoeya island.

Anders Behring Breivik has admitted killing 77 people on July 22 when he first detonated a truck bomb outside government offices in the capital, Oslo, and then went on a meticulously planned shooting spree on the island, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) away.

Breivik denies criminal guilt because he believes the massacre was necessary to save Norway and Europe. He said the attacks were an attempt at cultural revolution, aimed at purging Europe of Muslims and punishing politicians that have embraced multiculturalism.

On Friday, the Oslo District Court extended Breivik's isolation detention by another four weeks saying it still does not know if he acted alone.

Police said they wanted to keep Breivik in isolation because they didn't want him to talk to other inmates, although they still believe he planned and committed the attacks on his own.

Breivik's case is not expected in court until next year. If found guilty on terrorism charges, he could be sentenced to 21 years in prison. An alternative custody arrangement — if he is still considered a danger to the public — could keep him behind bars indefinitely.

Image: Anders Behring Breivik
Thomas Winje Oeijord  /  AP
Anders Behring Breivik arrives for a court hearing in Oslo Friday in the back of a police car.

Media were not allowed access to the heavily guarded island where Breivik spent 90 minutes executing the 69 people. Many of the victims were shot in the water as they tried to escape by swimming.

From a distance ferries and a pontoon could be seen shuttling survivors, in bright orange life vests, to the forested island used by the ruling Labor Party for political functions, camping and celebrations.

The prime minister said he "felt such sorrow and emptiness" when he heard news of the July 22 attacks, and could not believe it was true.

Stoltenberg told the VG newspaper in an online interview that when a police officer sent him an SMS message saying one of his friends had been killed he answered him with one word: "Horrific."

"It's like being punched because that's when the violence, the shooting on Utoya gets a face," he said.

Norway's General Director of Health Bjoern Inge Larsen said he hoped the visits would help survivors and families of the victims come to grips with the deaths.

"The people going there today ... have a lot of anxiety," Larsen said. "They were life-threatened on this island four weeks ago in a very traumatizing manner, so what we are prepared for is to help them to overcome that anxiety."

Per Brekke, logistics chief of the operation, that included 400 health care workers, police and other officials, said planning the visits had been a big challenge.

"But, of course, the challenge for each individual to re-enter the island is much bigger," he said.

Some 500 friends and family of the victims killed in the shooting spree visited Utoya on Friday.

On Sunday, a national memorial service is to be held at Oslo Spektrum arena, marking the end of a month of mourning in the Scandinavian country.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Norway in mourning after massacre

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  1. Under heavily armed police guard, Anders Behring Breivik (left, in red T-shirt) is taken back to Utoya on August 13 to reconstruct his actions during a shooting spree on the island. Breivik is charged with killing 69 people who were attending a summer camp at the lake island after killing another eight people in Oslo with a bomb. (Trond Solberg / VG - Scanpix Norway via Sipa) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Up to a dozen police escorted Breivik (in red) back to Utoya island to stage the reconstruction. (Trond Solberg / VG - Scanpix Norway via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Breivik travels with police officers on the ferry to Utoya island on August 13. The 32-year-old Breivik described the shootings in close detail during an eight-hour tour on the island, prosecutor Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby told a news conference. (Trond Solberg / VG - Scanpix Norway via Sipa) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Relatives and friends of the Norway attack victim Tamta Liparteliani gather near a coffin during a funeral in Kutaisi, western Georgia, on August 6. Tamta, a Georgian student, was one of the victims on Utoya island. (Shakh Aivazov / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg comforts a relative of Mona Abdninur, 18, during her funeral ceremony in Hoeybraeten, near Oslo, on August 2. Abdninur was one of the 77 people killed by Anders Behring Breivik. (Stoyan Nenov / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. A combination photo shows 21 of the victims killed in the July 22 bomb attack in central Oslo and shooting rampage on Utoya island. First row from left are: Silje Merete Fjellbu (17), Birgitte Smetbak (15), Margrethe Boeyum Kloeven (16), Bano Abobakar Rashid (18), Hanne Fjalestad (43), Diderik Aamodt Olsen (19) and Kjersti Berg Sand (26). Second row from left are: Sharidyn Meegan Ngahiwi Svebakk-Boehn, Guro Vartdal Haavoll (18), Syvert Knudsen (17), Simon Saeboe (18), Haakon Oedegaard (17), Johannes Buoe (14) and Eivind Hovden (15). Third row from left are: Sondre Furseth Dale (17), Sverre Flaate Bjoerkavaag (28), Gizem Dogan (17), Dupe Ellen Awoyemi (15), Silje Stamneshagen (18), Tove Aashill Knutsen (56) and Rolf Christopher Johansen Perreau (25). (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A close friend of Bano Rashid, one of the victims of the massacre on the youth camp of the Norwegian Labour Party, walks ahead of her coffin carrying her portrait as they make their way to her gravesite at Nesodden Kirke, south of Oslo on July 29. (Odd Andersen / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A mourner weeps during the funeral service for Bano Abobakar Rashid at a church in Nesodden, near Oslo, on July 29. Rashid, whose family fled to Norway from Iran in 1996, was one of the victims on Utoya island, where gunman Anders Behring Breivik killed at least 68 people, exactly one week ago. (Lefteris Pitarakis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Mourners gather in a circle to console themselves prior to the funeral procession of Bano Abobakar Rashid. (Lefteris Pitarakis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. People pay their respects for the victims in last Friday's killing spree and bomb attack, at a temporary memorial site on the shore in front of Utoya island northwest of Oslo on Wednesday. (Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A family drops red roses from their boat into the sea, close to Utoya island, near Oslo, Norway, on July 26. (Ferdinand Ostrop / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A sea of flowers and lit candles are placed in memory of those killed in Friday's bomb and shooting attack in front of Oslo Cathedral on Monday, July 25. Hundreds of thousands of Norwegians packed city centres across the country to pay tribute to the 76 people killed in twin attacks last week. Picture taken with fish-eye lens. (Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. People comfort each other outside Oslo City Hall as they participate in a "rose march" in memory of the victims of Friday's bomb attack and shooting massacre on Monday, July 25. (Aas, Erlend / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. People gather outside Oslo City Hall to participate in a "rose march" in memory of the victims of Friday's bomb attack and shooting massacre in Norway, Monday. (Emilio Morenatti / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Elizabeth Amundsen holds a rose and cries as thousands of people gather at a memorial vigil following Friday's twin extremist attacks on Monday in Oslo, Norway. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Thousands of people hold up roses as they take part in the 'Rose March' in Oslo, Norway on Monday. (Joerg Carstensen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Police continue searches on Utoya island, following Friday's twin extremist attacks on Monday in Utoya, Norway. (Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Anders Behring Breivik, left, the man accused of a killing spree and bomb attack in Norway, sits in the rear of a vehicle as he is transported in a police convoy leaving the courthouse in Oslo on July 25. A judge ordered eight weeks detention for Breivik. (Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen / Aftenposten - Scanpix Norway via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. People stand outside the courthouse where Anders Behring Breivik is due to appear in Oslo on July 25. (Cathal McNaughton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. A boy lights a candle to pay tribute to victims of Friday's twin attacks in central Oslo on July 25. (Emilio Morenatti / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Norway's HH Princess Martha Louise, left, and HRH Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit react while listening to a speech as hundreds of thousands of people gather at a memorial vigil following Friday's twin extremist attacks on Monday in Oslo, Norway. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Survivors from the shooting at the island of Utoya walk along a street in central Oslo on July 25. (Emilio Morenatti / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. A couple react as they pay their respects at a sea of floral tributes for the victims of Friday's attacks, outside the cathedral of Oslo on July 25. (Cathal McNaughton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. People bring flowers to a memorial in front of the Domkirke church in central Oslo on July25. (Britta Pedersen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. People, including relatives of a victim in the center of the picture, gather to observe a minute's silence on a campsite jetty on the Norwegian mainland, across the water from Utoya island, on July 25. People have been placing floral tributes in memory of those killed in the shooting massacre. (Matt Dunham / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. People stand in front of the Domkirke church in central Oslo on July 25. The bombing of government buildings in Oslo and the subsequent shooting spree at a political youth camp on Utoya island on 22 July have claimed more than 90 lives with the death toll still feared to rise. (Joerg Carstensen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. French police officers work around the house of Jens Breivik, the father of Anders Behring Breivik, in Cournanel, southern France, on July 25. Anders Behring Breivik is reported to have admitted to Friday's shootings at a youth camp and a bomb that killed seven people in Oslo's government district, but to have denied any criminal guilt. (Bob Edme / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, left, hugs Queen Sonja as King Harald, right, looks on outside a government building in Oslo on July 24. (Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Three roses float in Tyrifjord Lake near a makeshift memorial for the victims of the massacre on Utoya island on July 24. (Britta Pedersen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Friends and loved ones gather at Oslo cathedral on July 24 to mourn victims killed in the twin terror attacks. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Rescue personnel continue in their search for the missing in Tyrifjor lake, just off Utoya island July 24. (Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Survivors and relatives of a shooting rampage on the Utoya island mourn following a memorial service in the Oslo cathedral July 24. (Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. German Marcel Gleffe stands on Utvika camping ground in front of Utoya Island, Norway, July 24. According to news sources, Gleffe, who has a military background, saved up to 30 youths from the Utoya island shooting. Reports state that he was on holiday with his family at a campground across the water from Utoya when he heard the gunfire. He and others reportedly jumped into boats and began ferrying people escaping the island to safety. (Britta Pedersen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Adrian Pracon, one of the survivors of the Utoya island massacre, speaks from his bed at Ringerike hospital on July 24. He pretended to be dead, and was able to survive with a gunshot wound in his shoulder. (Steinar Schjetne / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. A combination of images shows Anders Behring Breivik, the man identified by Norwegian police as the gunman and alleged bomber behind the attack on government buidlings and the Labour party youth camp in Oslo on July 22 . Breivik told police he acted alone in the attack he had planned over many months. (Facebook / YouTube / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Utoya island, located 40 kilometers southwest of Oslo, is seen in the background as people light candles on July 23, in memory of the victims of the July 22 shooting spree on the island. (Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Members of the police and army carry out searches on a farm rented by Anders Behring Breivik in the small rural region of Rena, 93 miles north of Oslo, July 23. Breivik was arrested after Friday's massacre of young people on a tiny forested holiday island that was hosting the annual summer camp for the youth wing of Norway's ruling Labour party. The 32-year-old Norwegian was also charged for the bombing of Oslo's government district that killed seven people hours earlier. (Cathal McNaughton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Family members and survivors react as Norwegian King Harald and Queen Sonja (not seen) arrive to comfort them outside a hotel northwest of Oslo July 23. (Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. A boat of rescue services is seen near the bodies of victims covered with white blankets resting at the shore of Utoya island following a July 22 shooting spree at the island, west of the capital Oslo, Norway, July 23. (Kristoffer Oeverli Andersen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Youths are escorted away from a camp site in Utoya, Norway, July 23. (Scanpix Norway / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. The shattered windows of a government building are seen on July 23 in Oslo, following Friday's bombing. (Vegard Grott / Scanpix Norway via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. People gather outside the Oslo Cathedral to mourn and show their respect for the victims of the July 22 shooting at a Norwegian Labour Youth League camp, July 23. (Jan Johannessen / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. People embrace inside a hotel where relatives of victims and survivors of the shooting which took place at a meeting of the youth wing of Norway's ruling Labour Party on Utoya island gather in Sundvollen on Friday. (Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Emergency services are seen on Utoya island searching for the missing after a shooting took place at a meeting of the youth wing of Norway's ruling Labour Party on Friday. (Str / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. A wounded woman is brought ashore opposite Utoya island after being rescued from a gunman who went on a killing rampage targeting participants in a Norwegian Labour Party youth organisation event on the island on Friday. (Svein Gustav Wilhelmsen / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. A SWAT team aim their weapons while people take cover during a shoot out at Utoya island, some 40 km south west of the capital Oslo on Friday. (Jan Bjerkeli / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. An aerial view of Utoya Island taken July 21. A gunman opened fire on youths at a camp on the island, killing at least nine. Police arrested a suspect, a Norwegian, and said he was linked to the bomb blast in Oslo. (Lasse Tur / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. Still images taken from surveillance camera footage show the moment the bomb blast struck the Digital Impuls store in Oslo on Friday July 22, as glass shatters and people run out of the store. (Reuters Tv / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. Smoke pours from a building in the center of Oslo, Norway, on Friday, July 22, after an explosion that damaged several buildings, including the prime minister's office, shattering windows and covering the street with documents. The bombing was linked to a nearly simultaneous attack on a youth camp northwest of Olso in which a man dressed as a policeman opened fire on young people. (Thomas Winje ØIjord / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. A man tends to a wounded woman after an explosion near government buildings in Oslo. (Morten Holm / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. Smoke rises from central Oslo after the explosion. (Jon Bredo ØVeraas / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. An injured woman is helped by a man at the scene of the explosion. The blast damaged government buildings in central Oslo, including Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's office. (Scanpix Norway / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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    A young victim is helped in the center of Oslo, following an explosion that tore open several buildings. (Winje ÃIjord / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  54. Rescue officials help a wounded man. (Roald Berit / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  55. The wreckage of a vehicle lies outside government buildings after the blast. (Fartein Rudjord / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  56. An injured man is treated at the scene in Oslo. (Thomas Winje Oijord / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  57. A damaged building is seen after the bomb blast. (Andersen Aleksander / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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Timeline: Attacks in Norway

On July 22, a powerful bomb in Oslo was followed by a mass shooting on nearby Utoya Island. Here is the sequence of events. All times are local.

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