How the Norway massacre could have been avoided

Posted at 9:17 AM, Aug 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-13 09:17:54-04

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — The bomb and gun rampage that left 77 people dead in Norway last summer could have been avoided, an independent report found Monday.

Anders Behring Breivik is on trial in the bombing in central Oslo that left eight people dead, followed by a shooting spree at a youth camp on nearby Utoya Island, where 69 people died.

“The police and security services could and should have done more to avert the crisis,” said Alexandra Bech Gjorv, head of the July 22 Commission looking into the attacks.

According to authorities, Breivik set off a fertilizer bomb outside the prime minister’s office on July 26, 2011, killing eight people. He then took a ferry to Utoya Island, the site of a Labour Party youth camp, where more than 700 young adults were meeting.

Authorities say he roamed the island shooting at campers, killing 69 people before members of an elite Norwegian police unit took him into custody.

His trial concluded in June. A verdict is expected August 24.

The commission report criticized police response to the shooting, saying officers could have moved faster to stop the killer, and security around the government complex that was bombed.

Norway’s government set up the commission after the attacks, the worst massacre in Norway since World War II.

Experts disagree about whether Breivik was sane at the time of the killings, a critical factor in what sentence he will face. He does not deny the killings but says they were necessary to protect Norway from multiculturalism.

CNN’s Alex Felton contributed to this report.

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