Norway police defuse explosive device, arrest suspect
STAVANGER, Norway (AP) — Norway’s police have defused an explosive device found near a busy subway station in the capital and arrested a suspect.
The discovery of the explosive Saturday night brought police to evacuate late night bars and restaurants.
Police Chief Vidar Pedersen confirmed that the device, initially described as “bomb-like,” was an explosive. The police Twitter account said it had been defused or neutralized.
Police would not give any details about the suspect or further information about the device.
The explosive was found on the street just outside the Groenland underground station and police swept through the area to remove people from bars and restaurants.
Norway’s security service PST said early Sunday it had taken over the investigation but declined to elaborate.
“There are several reasons as to why we have taken over the case,” PST spokesman Martin Bernsen told the Aftenposten daily. He was not immediately available for comments.
“Now we will secure evidence and make the interviews,” he added.
“Every restaurant was being closed,” said 23-year-old Malin Myrvold, who witnessed the scene from a fourth-story window. “You could see cops in heavy armor going in every store and restaurant.
“We were trying to see what was going on. The police were screaming at us to get back inside and stay where we were,” she added by telephone.
Norway was put on high alert after neighboring Sweden suffered a truck attack in the capital that killed four people and injured 15. The suspect in Friday’s attack, a 39-year-old native of Uzbekistan, has been arrested. It was unclear whether he was also a Swedish citizen or resident or even how long he’d been in the country.
The Norwegian incident happened less than a mile from the government buildings that were damaged in a deadly bomb attack carried out by right wing extremist Anders Breivik in 2011. That bomb and a subsequent gun massacre killed a total of 77 people.