Nightly News   |  July 22, 2011

Norway reels after blast, camp attack

Norway is reeling from two deadly attacks on Friday that have left at least 17 people dead, many of whom are teenagers at a summer youth camp. NBC’s Martin Fletcher reports.

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>>> start with what happened in the peaceful nation of norway today. stunning news, a country reeling tonight from two vicious and deadly attacks that have left at least 17 people dead, many feared to be teenagers at a summer youth camp. it started in a norwegian capital of oslo when at least one bomb tore through the prime minister's office building , blowing out windows and killing at least seven people. later, in what police believe was a related attack, a lone gunman opened fire at a summer camp for teens on an island 25 miles outside oslo, killing many more. the attacks have touched off wide ranging speculation about the motive and who may be responsible. nbc's martin fletcher is monitoring developments from us from our london bureau tonight. martin, what's the latest?

>> lester, norway 's prime minister called for calm and unity in this difficult time. norway , a small, peaceful country. that was shattered today in the hardest way. it is the worst attack on norway since world war ii . 3:30 in the heart of the capital, a massive bomb blast outside the prime minister's office. at least seven dead, 100 wounded. debris over half a mile away. across the street, the oil ministry was in flames.

>> buildings were on fire. it was complete chaos in the streets. we saw injured people being carried out of the building.

>> the people were basically shocked. people were confused. people were asking what happened, how could this happen? and they weren't really aware of what to do or where to go.

>> reporter: police suspect a car bomb and with fear of more bombs, police warn people, leave the city center or stay at home . two hours later, another attack, on an island an hour away. a man dressed as a policeman approached a crowd of youths attending a summer camp . he pulled out an automatic weapon, and sprayed them with bullets. children jumped off the rocks to swim for their lives. an eyewitness said he shot some of them. at least ten dead. president obama offered his condolences.

>> the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring. and that we have to work cooperatively together, both on intelligence and in terms of prevention.

>> hello?

>> reporter: nobody claimed responsibility, but police suspect two attacks were linked, coordinated, well executed, heavy casualties. but why norway ?

>> there are a number of different possible culprits. there is right wing groups, there are anarchist groups and jihadists. there are al qaeda and its allies.

>> reporter: still, nobody is saying for sure it was al qaeda . it could be local radicals. one lead, police arrested a man after the shooting on the island. they said he's tall and blond and later confirmed he's norwegian. lester?

>> martin fletcher in london tonight ,