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Norway mosque shooting being investigated as act of terrorism: Police

ANI  |  Europe 

The shooting incident at a mosque near capital Oslo on Saturday is being investigated as a possible "act of terrorism", Norwegian police said on Sunday.

"We're investigating this as an attempt at carrying out an act of terrorism," Assistant Chief of Police Rune Skjold told a news conference, Al Jazeera reported.

A gunman armed with multiple weapons opened fire at the Al-Noor Mosque here, wounding one person before being overpowered by worshippers on Saturday afternoon.

Skjold said the suspect -- identified as a "young, white man" -- had expressed support for anti-immigrant stances, as well as for Vidkun Quisling, a Norwegian politician who collaborated with occupying German forces during War II.

The suspect appeared to have acted alone and has been charged with attempt to murder. In addition, he has been charged with the murder of a woman found dead in his home.

The mosque shooting comes at a time when Muslims around the will be observing Eid al-Adha on August 12.

A member of the mosque told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK that the shooting could have been much worse, if not for a 75-year-old man who quickly overpowered the suspect.

Imran Mushtaq, a board member at the Al-Noor mosque, said more than a dozen people were praying inside the mosque just ten minutes before the suspect arrived. But, by the time the shooting began, only three older men were left inside, said Mushtaq, who was at his home nearby at that time.

The suspect entered by opening fire through the mosque's locked glass door, Mushtaq said. The 75-year-old managed to overpower the suspect, placed him in a chokehold and sat on top of him until police arrived. He suffered only minor injuries.

Multiple weapons were found inside the mosque, police said. The weapons are believed to be connected to the suspect. The police are examining the suspect's online activity prior to the shooting at the mosque. But no details have been divulged yet.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 11 2019. 17:41 IST