Norway police say 24 were targeted in bow and arrow attack

Suspect Espen Andersen Brathen (above), a Dane living in Kongsberg, is undergoing psychiatric evaluation after the attack. PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Norwegian police said on Wednesday (Oct 27) that 24 people were now being treated as victims of a bow and arrow attack earlier this month in which five people were killed.

A man rampaged through the town of Kongsberg west of Oslo on Oct 13, firing arrows and attacking people at random in their homes.

Main suspect Espen Andersen Brathen, a Dane living in Kongsberg, was arrested at the scene and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, with police believing mental illness is behind the attack.

"So far, we have 24 victims in the case," police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told a press conference, giving a total figure for the first time.

He said the number included the five killed, three who were injured and 16 others who had been "subjected to different events".

"These are typically attempted murders and attempted woundings, mostly those who were shot at with a bow and arrow," he said, stressing that the number could change.

He said police were "keeping the door open" on the motive for the attack.

Brathen had previously said on social media he had converted to Islam, leading to speculation it was an Islamic militant attack.

But the investigation had "further weakened" the militant hypothesis, Mr Omholt said, adding that it was unclear whether or not the suspect had really converted to Islam.

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