The Utoya Massacre: Norway’s Worst Post-War Attack

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 15, 2016 Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik (2nd L) enters a makeshift court in Skien prison’s gym on March 15, 2016 in Skien, some 130 km south west of Oslo, for his lawsuit against the Norwegian state, which he accuses of violating his human rights by holding him in isolation.  (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP)



Norway was plunged into horror on July 22, 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed dozens in a bomb attack in central Oslo and a shooting spree on the island of Utoya.

At 3:25 pm on a rainy Friday, a rented van packed with 950 kilogrammes (2,100 pounds) of explosives made from fertiliser detonated outside the tower housing the office of then prime minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Although the bombing killed eight people and injured dozens more, many employees had already left before the blast as Breivik, then aged 32, had been caught in traffic.

Stoltenberg escaped unharmed as he was working at his official residence about 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) away.

Already disguised as a police officer, Breivik heard on the radio of the getaway car he had parked some distance away that the 17-storey building had not collapsed as he had hoped.

Disappointed, he moved on to the second phase of his plan.


(FILES) A handout picture release on December 15, 2011 by Norwegian police shows the government building on July 23, 2011 a the day after a car bomb set off by Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik exploded. – Norway was plunged into horror on July 22, 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed dozens in a bomb attack in central Oslo and a shooting spree on the island of Utoya. (Photo by – / SCANPIX NORWAY / POLICE / AFP)


– Summer camp –
Breivik took the ferry to Utoya island some 40 kilometres northwest of Oslo, site of an annual summer camp for hundreds of members of the Workers Youth League (AUF), affiliated with the centre-left Labour Party.

At 5:17 pm he stepped off the MS Thorbjorn, a small boat used by the AUF to ferry people across the lake.

He immediately shot long-time camp organiser Monica Bosei — also known as Mother Utoya — and an off-duty policeman in charge of security.

Armed with a Ruger rifle and a Glock pistol, Breivik roamed the island, tracking down distraught young people and posing as a policeman who had come to protect them in order to gain their trust.

He killed 13 people in the island’s hilltop cafeteria, another 10 youths holding hands along a “path of love” running along the shore and 14 more near a small shed housing a water pump.

In total 189 shell casings were collected from the 72 minutes of the massacre.

– Violence unleashed –
Trapped on an island just half a kilometre across, many of the young people threw themselves into the cold waters of the lake to escape.

Alerted by the gunfire, people rushed from a nearby campsite in boats to try and rescue the swimmers — only for Breivik to fire on them as well.

The gunman, who had taken a mixture of aspirin and stimulants ephedrine and caffeine before launching his attack, shouted “you’re going to die, Marxists” at the people in his sights.

Although he twice called out that “I have completed my operation and I want to surrender”, he resumed killing both times.

Breivik shot almost everyone he encountered, methodically finishing off many of the wounded with shots to the head.

Of the 69 victims, 56 were found with bullet wounds to their heads.

– Surrender –
An inflatable boat carrying a police response team from Oslo broke down on the lake, and the officers had to be relayed to Utoya by nearby boaters.

Breivik put up no resistance to police and was arrested at 6:34 pm.

Of the 564 participants of the summer camp, 67 were shot dead and two fell to their deaths or drowned, in Norway’s worst post-World War II tragedy.

Another 33 suffered bullet wounds.

Most of the victims were younger than 20, with the youngest having turned 14 only five days before.

One 18-year-old boy’s body had been riddled with eight bullets.

Breivik said he had aimed to stage “a fireworks display” to draw attention to a 1,500-page anti-immigrant, anti-Marxist screed he dubbed a “manifesto”.

In response, prime minister Stoltenberg promised “more democracy, more openness and more humanity”.

At his trial in 2012, Breivik admitted the facts but pleaded not guilty.

He was sentenced to 21 years in prison, which can be extended indefinitely as long as he is considered a threat to society.

Norway Suspends Use Of AstraZeneca Vaccine

FILES) In this file photo taken on February 12, 2021 a vial containing the Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table in the pharmacy of the vaccination center at the Robert Bosch hospital in Stuttgart, southern Germany. Danish health authorities said on March 11, 2021 they were temporarily suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine as a precaution after some patients developed blood clots since receiving the jab. The move comes “following reports of serious cases of blood clots among people vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine”, the Danish Health Authority said in a statement.


Norway’s health authorities said Thursday they were suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine as a precaution following Denmark’s decision to do so over fears of a link to blood clots.

“We are pausing the AstraZeneca vaccination in Norway,” the director of infection prevention and control at the National Institute of Health, Geir Bukholm, told reporters.

“We are waiting for more information to see if there is a link between the vaccine and this blood clot case,” he said.

More to follow . . .

Norway Seeks To Decriminalise Use Of Marijuana, Others

A recreational marijuana smoker indulges in smoking weed on April 14, 2020 in the Bushwick section of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP
A recreational marijuana smoker indulges in smoking weed on April 14, 2020 in the Bushwick section of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP


Norway’s government on Friday proposed a bill aimed at decriminalising the possession and use of small amounts of narcotics, saying users should be offered treatment rather than face jail.

“Decades of repression have taught us that punishment doesn’t work. On the contrary, punishment can make things worse,” Education Minister Guri Melby told a press conference.

“Drug addicts need help, not punishment,” she added.

Under the centre-right coalition government’s proposal, both possession and the use of small quantities of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, would no longer be punishable under the criminal code, but users would still have to seek help.

“They are still forbidden, but no longer punishable,” Health Minister Bent Hoie said.

Proponents of the bill argue that criminal prosecution of drug users can be counterproductive as it deters those with abuse problems from seeking help, makes it more difficult for relatives to detect problems and stigmatises an already vulnerable demographic.

The proposal comes with set thresholds for what should be considered a small amount for different illicit substances: two grams for cocaine, heroin or amphetamines, 10 grams for cannabis and 500 grams (17.6 oz) for khat.

As the government only controls a minority in parliament, passing the legislation will require support from the opposition, with some arguing the measure could encourage drug use.

According to a survey published in early February by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, around five percent of respondents in Norway say they have used cannabis in the last 12 months, and one percent have tried psychotropic drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines.

Despite having one of the highest living standards in Europe, Norway — and other Nordic countries — have seen higher numbers of drug-related deaths per capita than the rest of Europe.

In recent years, 260 people have died annually from a drug overdose in Norway, according to a report published last year by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.



Norway Moves Mountains To Bring Skiing To The People

Picture taken on February 10, 2021 shows ski trails made of artificial snowin the Voldslokka park in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Petter Berntsen / AFP)


Norwegians, the saying goes, are born with skis on their feet. But with a lack of snow and the pandemic this year leaving many in despair, authorities are bringing snow and ski trails to downtown Oslo.

For the past few weeks, big trucks have been dumping hundreds of cubic metres of fluffy white stuff, made by snow cannons perched on the hills outside the capital, in the city’s still-green parks.

Packed down or groomed with cross-country trails, the parks have transformed into winter wonderlands for skiing enthusiasts of all ages: little children on excursions with their daycare groups, active seniors, and office workers taking a break from their work-from-home schedule.

“For three months, we’ve had very strict corona restrictions in Oslo, but we can still go outside,” city councillor Omar Samy Gamal says, as a grooming machine behind him prepares a snowboarding hill in the Torshovdalen park.

“Since we haven’t had a lot of snow this winter, we’re doing what we can to bring it to the people. We’re bringing them a little bit of ‘marka’,” he says.

What’s marka?

The word refers to the wooded hills outside Oslo, popular among urban dwellers for long walks, or more frequently, skiing after work or at the weekend.

The first snowfall of the season in early January caused long traffic queues, and, more worryingly during the pandemic, crowded commuter trains.

“We don’t want people packed together. We want them to keep their distance from each other, and the best way to ensure that is to make use of local public spaces,” Gamal says.

Four Oslo parks — including that belonging to the royal palace — have already been or will be partially covered in artificial snow to quench locals’ thirst for sledding and skiing.

“It’s extremely important to keep people active without everyone having to take the same train to leave town,” says Miriam Heen Skotland, a psychologist out cross-country skiing in the Voldslokka park on her lunch break.

– White Christmas? –

Before working her night shift as a nurse, Karen Margrethe Igland has also strapped on her cross-country skis, just 10 minutes from her home.

“I try to limit how much I use public transport. If I want to go to the ‘marka’, I have to take the train. So it’s better to be able to come here on foot,” she says.

Climate change has made winters in Norway shorter.

According to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo has over the past 30 years lost 21 winter days, defined as days where the temperature dips below 0 degrees Celsius.

The city could lose another 26 winter days by 2050, the Institute has warned.

“When I was young, it wasn’t hard to predict the weather in winter: it was often cold and there was usually a lot of snow,” Norway’s Education Minister Guri Melby said in January when new climate measures were presented.

“But for Christmas this year I wasn’t sure whether I should buy my kids a sled, because the winters nowadays are much milder with a lot fewer snowmen and ski days,” she said.

And in an almost sacrilegious move, Norway opened its first indoor ski centre in early 2020. It is however currently closed to the general public because of virus restrictions.

With Oslo fighting its battle against the thermometer, is it really reasonable to transport tonnes of snow by truck?

The vehicles run on biodiesel, with hydrotreated vegetable oil, the city notes.

“Using these carbon-neutral trucks to bring snow to the people so that they won’t use their own car to drive to the ‘marka’, I think it’s a pretty beneficial equation for the climate,” says driver Tom Kjetil Tangen.


Seventh Body Found In Norway Mudslide, Three Still Missing

Rescue workers with a dog search the area on January 2, 2021 following the landslide that hit a residential area in Ask in Gjerdrum during Christmas. Tor Erik Schroeder / NTB / AFP



Rescue workers have uncovered a seventh body from a landslide that buried homes in a village near Norway’s capital, police said Sunday, with a two-year-old girl and her father among the dead.

The tragedy occurred early on Wednesday when houses were destroyed and shifted hundreds of metres under a torrent of mud in the village of Ask, 25 kilometres (15 miles) northeast of Oslo.

Police spokesman Bjorn Christian Willersrud told journalists they hoped to find more survivors in the landslide zone. “It is still a rescue operation until we decide otherwise,” he said.

Earlier Sunday, the head of the rescue operation, Goran Syversen, told reporters: “We are working hard in the depression created by the landslide.

“We have five teams working at the same time. They are doing very difficult work which is not without risk. Nevertheless, we are making good progress.”

Police said the latest body was found near where two others had been recovered, but gave no further details. The teams, backed up by sniffer dogs, helicopters and drones, have now found three bodies on Sunday, one on Saturday and three on Friday.

Local residents left candles near the site of the tragedy.

Five of the recovered victims have been identified, including a woman in her fifties and her 29-year-old son, and a 40-year-old man and his two-year-old daughter.

The first victim to be recovered, on January 1, was a 31-year-old man.

Earlier police published the names of all 10 people, including the two-year-old and a 13-year-old, who went missing on Wednesday.

Ten people were also injured in the landslide, including one seriously who was transferred to Oslo for treatment.

About 1,000 people of the town’s population of 5,000 have been evacuated, because of fears for the safety of their homes as the land continues to move.

“It is a completely surreal and terrible situation,” one of the evacuees, Olav Gjerdingen, told AFP.

Royal visit

The rescuers received a visit Sunday from King Harald, his wife Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon, who lit candles for the victims in a local church.

“I’m having trouble finding something to say, because it’s absolutely horrible,” the king said after the visit.

“This terrible event impacts us all. I sympathise with you who are beginning the new year with sadness and uncertainty,” he said in a televised statement.

The authorities have banned all aircraft from the disaster area until 3 pm Monday as they conduct aerial searches.

The teams, who are also seeking to rescue family pets, were digging channels in the ground to evacuate casualties.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) said the disaster was a “quick clay slide” of approximately 300 by 800 metres (yards).

Quick clay is a sort of clay found in Norway and Sweden that can collapse and turn to fluid when overstressed.

On the recommendations of the NVE, the authorities decided to narrow the evacuation, allowing some local people to return to their homes.


How Will Brexit Rules Affect The Premier League?

The Premier League was put on hold since mid-March due to COVID-19 outbreak. Photo: Twitter/Premier League.


The Premier League has become the world’s richest league based on its staggering global appeal, with millions tuning in to watch the best talent from around the globe week by week.

But a change of rules as a result of Brexit means English clubs will not have the same freedom to hoover up the best of European football’s young players.

From January 1, a points-based system will be in place, meaning players from the European Union will now need to gain a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE), subjecting them to the same criteria as other overseas players.

Points will be awarded on the basis of the number of international appearances made, as well as club appearances in domestic and continental competitions and the standard of the club and league the player is coming from.

Getting a GBE will not be a problem for the vast majority of the Premier League’s big-money arrivals but the changes will have a bigger effect on the recruitment of youth players and further down the football pyramid.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters sounded confident earlier this month when the English top-flight, the Football Association and the English Football League announced post-Brexit arrangements.

“Continuing to be able to recruit the best players will see the Premier League remain competitive and compelling and the solution will complement our player development philosophy of the best foreign talent alongside the best homegrown players,” he said.

The same rules will also apply to managers and coaches based on the level they have previously worked at. For example, under the new criteria, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would not have been granted a GBE, having spent most of his coaching career in Norway.

However, players and coaches who do not automatically qualify for a work permit can appeal to a panel of experts for an exemption.

As with much surrounding Brexit, however, the rules will be constantly reviewed.

– No new Fabregas or Pogba –

Britain’s withdrawal from the EU means Premier League clubs will no longer benefit from an exception to world governing body FIFA’s rules on the signing of minors.

FIFA bans all overseas transfers for under-18s but makes an exception for movement within the European Economic Area. That allowed Cesc Fabregas and Paul Pogba to move to England as 16-year-olds in the past but this will now no longer be possible.

– Connected clubs –

One way of getting around the new rules is for British-based clubs to have a link to a feeder or associate club in Europe.

Manchester City’s network of clubs under the City Football Group (CFG) umbrella is the most high-profile example. CFG has stakes in lower-league sides in Spain, France and Belgium.

Leicester’s owners King Power own Belgian club Leuven while Sheffield United’s Saudi chief, Prince Abdullah, has an ownership stake in Belgian side Beerschot and is closing in on French Ligue 2 side Chateauroux.

These clubs could be used to ‘park’ young EU players until they turn 18 and also help build up the requisite number of appearances to obtain a GBE.

– Boost for British players –

The Football Association’s key objective in coming to an agreement with the Premier League and English Football League was to create more opportunities for young British players.

The number of overseas under-21 players Premier League clubs can sign will be restricted to three in the upcoming January transfer window and thereafter be capped at six per season.

Speaking about the overall agreement, the FA’s CEO Mark Bullingham said: “Despite having different starting perspectives on how Brexit should impact football, this is another example of how the football authorities can work effectively together for the greater good of the game.”

He added: “We will also discuss improvements to the player pathway for the mutual benefit of football clubs and homegrown talent in this country.”

The limits on signing young players from overseas will have a particular impact on EFL and Scottish league clubs, where a far higher degree of imports from Europe will not meet the criteria for a GBE.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said he thought the rules would make a clear difference.

“We’re probably looking at the British market more than anything else (for new players),” he said. “I think it’s going to be difficult after the end of the year to get players in from the continent.”


Norway Threatens To Shut Out EU, UK fishermen If Brexit Deal Not Signed

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 12, 2020, Newhaven fishing boat skipper Neil Whitney (R) and deckhand Nathan Harman (L) sort fish aboard the Newhaven fishing boat ‘About Time’ after the first trawl of the day, off the south-east coast of England. 


Norway said Friday it would close its waters to fishing boats from both the European Union and Britain if a deal cannot be signed between the three parties by January 1.

Non-EU member Norway has had a fishing deal with the bloc in place since 1980, but the terms must be renegotiated following Britain’s departure.

“Talks with the EU and Great Britain on a 2021 fishing deal have been seriously held up because of the delay in Brexit negotiations between those two (parties), and fishing’s place in them,” fishing minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen told lawmakers in Oslo


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“It’s not a given that negotiations will be finished by the end of the year. If we don’t have a deal by January 1, we won’t open Norway’s economic zone to fishing boats from the EU and Great Britain,” he said.

The deal between Norway and the EU sees the two sides grant reciprocal access to their fishing waters.

In September, Norway and Britain announced a bilateral deal calling for annual talks on quotas.

Ingebrigtsen said that Oslo and Brussels have agreed to open talks next year aimed at a similar pact.

“We’ve been telling the EU for a long time that we needed a three-way deal, and the ball is therefore now in the EU’s court,” he added.

Without a deal, Norwegian boats will also be shut out from EU waters.

Norway’s own economic zone is home to important stocks of species like cod and herring, with some of the quotas until now allotted to European fishermen.


Norwegian Air Secures Bankruptcy Protection In Norway

FILES) In this file photo taken on March 05, 2015 aircrafts of Norwegian low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle are parked at Arlanda airport in Stockholm, as pilots of the airline staged a strike. 


Embattled low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle said Tuesday it had secured bankruptcy protection in Norway, after recently receiving a similar shield in Ireland.

Burdened with massive debt after an ambitious expansion programme and suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic that has paralysed global air traffic, Europe’s third-biggest no-frills airline is now fighting for its survival.

An Irish court on Monday allowed Norwegian to put itself and several Irish subsidiaries — which manage its fleet and some of its routes in Europe — under “examinership”, the equivalent of the US procedure known as Chapter 11.

The manoeuvre shields the company from creditors and potential bankruptcy while it tries to restructure its debt.

A specialised Norwegian court on Tuesday also granted it protection.


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“A supplementary reconstruction process under Norwegian law will be to the benefit of all parties and will increase the likelihood of a successful result,” Norwegian chief executive Jacob Schram said in a statement.

“Our aim is to secure jobs in the company and to contribute to securing critical infrastructure and value creation in Norway,” he added.

Pending a worldwide roll-out of Covid vaccines that could enable air traffic to return to normal, Norwegian last week presented a rescue plan that included slashing its fleet, debt conversion and a rights issue of up to four billion kroner ($453 million, 374.5 million euros).

Shareholders are due to vote on the plan at an extraordinary general meeting on December 17.

The company, a pioneer in the low-cost long haul sector, has been in the red since 2017 and its debt amounted to 48.5 billion kroner at the end of September.

Just six of the 140 aircraft it had in service at the start of the year are still flying, on Norwegian domestic routes, while only 600 employees among a formerly 10,000-strong payroll are still at work.

The Norwegian share price, which has fluctuated wildly of late, gained 9.13 percent in midday trading on the Oslo stock exchange. It has lost 99 percent of its value in the past year.


COVID-19 Gives Norwegian Kids A Lesson In Democracy

(FILES) This file photo taken on April 27, 2020 shows Norway´s Prime Minister Erna Solberg (C) learning greeting techniques by students Celine Busk (L) and Rim Daniel Abraham (R) during her visit to Ellingsrudåsen school in Oslo, amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. – Solberg gave a press conference for children on September 3, 2020 in Oslo to comment on the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 situation. Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB Scanpix / AFP.


Can we hug now? Is the coronavirus still as dangerous? When will a vaccine be ready? Norway’s prime minister on Thursday answered a volley of questions from children eager to see the end of the pandemic.

Flanked by her education and family ministers, each respecting social distancing rules, Erna Solberg tried to assuage the fears of a generation longing for life to return to pre-Covid days.

“I hope that next year we will be able to start living a little bit more normally,” Solberg replied to a question from a class of eight- and nine-year-olds which had been sent in advance.

“In the meantime, we have to continue like this and look out for each other.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the leaders of the Nordic countries have all held question-and-answer sessions for children, initiatives hailed by child psychiatrists.

But none have persisted with the format as much as Norway: this is the third time since March that the three ministers have held a “press conference” solely for children’s queries, broadcast live on television.

In the prime minister’s official press room, the three ministers use simple language, without hiding any of their uncertainties, to answer questions collected by a children’s programme and relayed by a moderator.

“Summer is over, children are back at school, their daily lives have changed and new questions have arisen, as well as the need to talk about the way forward,” Solberg explained to AFP in an email.

This time, the children’s questions ranged from travel possibilities to playing football with other classes in the schoolyard, and when their grandparents living abroad would be allowed to visit them.

Asio, 12, wanted to know what Halloween was going to be like.

“You can celebrate Halloween, respecting the one-metre distance rule, knock on the door and dress up and have fun,” the prime minister assured him.

“Everyone just has to make sure the precautions are respected.”

– ‘Responsibility and obligation’ –

Experts welcomed the effort directed at the young.

A French child psychiatrist, Daniel Marcelli, called it a “pretty good democratic initiative”.

“For kids over the age of seven or eight who have reached the age of reason, to be able to speak directly to the president, prime minister or an important figure — that’s an important act of acknowledgement that fuels a sense of citizenship,” he told AFP.

Norway frequently organises political debates specifically for children ahead of elections.

“It’s both a responsibility and an obligation that we have,” said Rune Alstadsaeter, state secretary in the prime minister’s office.

“The Convention on the Rights of the Child, in its article 17, says the state must ensure that all children have access to information,” he said.

In a sign of their popularity, the Covid-19 press conferences typically yield hundreds of questions.

“It’s normal” for kids to probe virus policy, said psychiatrist Serge Tisseron. “It’s the generation of tomorrow. They’re very attentive to all this.”

“When you’re 40 or 50 years old, you’ve experienced other things. But when you’re 10, it’s normal to wonder if it’s going to continue like this,” he said.

At worst it’s an “election operation”, at best a “lesson in democracy”. But, according to Tisseron, in order to be truly beneficial, the press conferences should be preceded by a debate in school before the questions are asked.

Either way, there’s usually something for everyone.

“Children ask questions very directly and without any complexes,” said Marcelli. “Often the answers can be just as interesting for adults.”


Norwegian Govt Contributes 9.9m Kroner To Nigeria’s ‘One UN COVID-19 Response’

A man reacts as a medical worker takes a swab from his nose during a community COVID-19 testing campaign in Abuja on April 15, 2020. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV


The Norwegian Government has donated NOK 9.9 million in support of Nigeria’s fight against the pandemic.

According to the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, the added resources will bolster support to the Nigeria COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan and help the government to sustain its efforts in addressing critical issues of the on-going pandemic.

“Global solidarity is our only option”, Jens-Petter Kjemprud said.

He added that, “The coronavirus pandemic requires that we join forces for urgent action and coordinated efforts to mitigate its short- and long-term effects.

“Through the UN Basket Fund, Norway is partnering with Nigeria in this time of crisis to address the multifaceted nature of the pandemic and its unprecedented implications on the healthcare system, as well as the socio-economic impacts.”

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Norway is the latest contributor to join the One UN COVID-19 response.

On Tuesday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated one million dollars to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 fight.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, it is aimed at supporting the country’s response in the management of the crisis and the realities of post-crisis, particularly in the protection of vulnerable persons.

Pirates Kidnap Nine Nigerians On Norwegian Oil Ship


Pirates attacked a Norwegian vessel off the coast of Nigeria on Thursday and kidnapped nine Nigerian nationals onboard, the ship’s Norwegian owner BW Offshore said.

The Sendje Berge, an offshore support vessel for the oil and gas industry, came under attack at 0320 GMT, BW Offshore said in a filing to the Oslo stock exchange.

There has been no news on the nine Nigerians since they were taken, but nobody remaining on board the ship had been hurt, according to the statement.

At the time of the attack, the Sendje Berge was working at the Okwori oilfield on behalf of China’s Addax Petroleum.

The Gulf of Guinea, which includes the Nigerian coast, has in recent years been the scene of a growing number of attacks by pirates who loot ships or kidnap crews or passengers for ransom.

Beijing COVID-19 Outbreak Not Connected To Norwegian Salmon – Oslo

Two women wear protective suits as they walk on a street near the closed Xinfadi market in Beijing on June 13, 2020. GREG BAKER / AFP


Norway said Wednesday that salmon from the country was not the cause of the recently discovered outbreak of the new coronavirus in Beijing, after many Chinese restaurants and retailers stopped selling imported salmon.

Norwegian salmon came under scrutiny in China after a recently discovered cluster of new coronavirus cases was reportedly traced to the Xinfadi meat market in Beijing and a chopping board used for cutting up imported salmon.

“The issue is being resolved,” said fisheries minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, quoted by TDN Finans.

“We’re working out the details today and I can confirm that the issue seems to be resolved,” Ingebrigtsen added.

Ingebrigtsen said Chinese and Norwegian officials had met on Tuesday and concluded that Norwegian salmon was unlikely to be the source of the virus detected last week at the Beijing market.

At least 137 people have been infected since last week in China’s capital, a resurgence of infections that has led to the lockdown of several neighbourhoods and the cancellation of more than a thousand flights.

Major supermarket chains including Wumart and Carrefour removed all stocks of salmon in the capital, but said supplies of other products would not be affected, Beijing Daily reported Saturday.

Some Beijing restaurants were not serving any salmon last weekend, according to AFP reporters.

Contacted by AFP, the Chinese embassy in Oslo did not provide any immediate comment.

China, considered a very promising market by the industry, last year imported around 23,500 tonnes of Norwegian salmon.