Norway to hold first funeral after killings

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 29, 2011 4:03 AM
Norway to hold first funeral after killings

By Alister Doyle and Victoria Klesty

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway will hold the first funeral on Friday for a victim of Anders Behring Breivik's massacre of 76 people a week ago amid signs of a leap in popularity for the ruling Labour Party that was his main target.

Flags around the nation flew at half mast to mark the day a week ago when Breivik set off a bomb in central Oslo that killed 8 people followed by the shooting of 68 people, mostly youth members of the Labour Party at an island summer camp.

Bano Rashid, 18, will be buried at Nesodden church near Oslo as the nation pauses for memorial services after the worst attacks on the nation since World War Two.

"We have to stand united and carry their dreams forward," Nesodden mayor Christian Holm said of Rashid and another Nesodden youth, Diderik Aamodt Olsen, who died in the attacks.

Breivik, a right-wing anti-Islam zealot who said he was on a crusade to save Europe by striking at the Labour Party that he accused of accommodating Muslim culture, will be interrogated by police for the second time on Friday.

An opinion poll on Friday indicated that support for Labour had leapt by about 10 percentage points in the days after the bombing, when Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was praised for his calm handling of the crisis.

The poll for newspaper Sunnmoersposten was conducted in two parts: in the four days before the attack and in the four days after. Before the attacks, Labour support was measured at 28.1 percent, while after it rose to 38.7 percent.

At the same time, support for the opposition Conservative and populist right-wing Progress parties fell sharply. The poll was of about 500 people each time.

Separately, Stoltenberg will attend a memorial service held by the Labour Party and its youth wing in Oslo.

He also planned to take part in a ceremony at 3.30 p.m. (1330 GMT) in the heart of Oslo to mark the exact time last week that a car, packed with a bomb made of fertilizers, blew up outside his offices. Stoltenberg is also due to visit a mosque to stress national unity.

Psychiatrists have been appointed to try to discover why Breivik staged his attacks. His lawyer has said he is probably a madman. "I don't think anyone else in the world has the same understanding of reality" as Breivik, his lawyer Geir Lippestad told the daily Aftenposten.

(editing by David Stamp)