Survivors of shooting return to Norway attacks island
Survivors of a shooting rampage last month returned Saturday to the Norwegian island of Utoya to mourn the 69 people killed there, and to reclaim the island.
The shooting targeted a youth camp organized by the Labour Party. The youngest victim was 14 years old, DPA reported.
"It will be difficult for many but it is an important part of the mourning process," Martin Henriksen, former leader of the Labour Party youth league, told broadcaster NRK.
Henriksen was on the mainland waiting to take a ferry to the island on July 22 when the shooting began.
"I was in shock and deeply concerned over what what was happening," he recalled.
On Friday, bereaved people visited the island as part of the process to help them cope with the loss of their loved ones. Police officers and health personnel, as well as Red Cross volunteers, were on the island to help them during the emotional visit.
About 750 people were due to visit the island on Saturday. Each survivor was permitted to bring one relative or friend.
The youths planned to hold meetings and perhaps sing together - just as they would have at an ordinary youth camp. This was seen as part of effort to reclaim the island and continue the process of closure.
"For many it will be a little step on the way to reclaim Utoya," Bjorn-Inge Larsen, head of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, told NRK.
Norwegian authorities, including the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning, helped organize the visit.
On Friday, a court ruled that Anders Behring Breivik, who admitted to the shooting after he had detonated a car bomb that killed eight people in central Oslo, was to remain in solitary confinement until September 19.