Norway marks grim massacre anniversary

July 22, 2012 at 9:00 AM
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OSLO, Norway, July 22 (UPI) -- A solemn ceremony was held Sunday in Oslo by Norway's royal couple and prime minister in remembrance of the massacre of 77 people a year ago.

King Harald, Queen Sonja and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg participated in a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Oslo bombing and subsequent shooting spree on a nearby island, the NRK news agency said.

The prime minister said the man behind the terror attacks of July 22, 2011, had failed, despite the death toll, CNN reported.

"The bombs and bullets were intended to change Norway. The Norwegian people responded by reasserting our values," Stoltenberg said. "The perpetrator failed to achieve what he set out to do -- the people triumphed."

The country observed a minute of silence to mark the worst massacre since World War II, the reports said.

Anders Breivik is on trial on homicide and terror charges and a verdict is expected by Aug. 24.

During his trial, Breivik said he had studied al-Qaida tactics for the Oslo bombing and shooting spree on Utoya Island, where 69 people, mostly teenagers, were gunned down or fled into the ocean to drown.

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