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Man throws incendiary devices at Royal Palace in Oslo

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A man in an electric wheelchair throws incendiary devices at the Norwegian Royal Palace in Oslo. A wooden door at the back of the palace catches fire. A member of the royal family is said to have been in the palace at the time of the attack.

According to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, a man in an electric wheelchair is said to have carried out an arson attack on the Royal Palace in Oslo. According to the report, the as yet unidentified attacker told a passerby that he was carrying a bomb, who then alerted the police. The wheelchair user threw two Molotov cocktails at a door at the back of the palace. This caused a fire, which was quickly extinguished, and “a lot of smoke,” according to tourists who had actually wanted to watch the changing of the guard but then witnessed the incident.

Images published by the newspaper Verdens Gang showed flames in front of a large castle door and police officers battling them with fire extinguishers. The royal court told broadcaster NRK that it was still unclear how much damage had been caused.

The situation was quickly brought under control again and the man was arrested, Oslo police told NRK. “The man had several more bottles of liquid with him when he was arrested,” operations manager Anders Rønning told NRK. “These are now being examined by bomb specialists.”

The background to the crime is still unclear. Shortly after the man's arrest, the police could not say whether he acted alone. NRK reported that he had been identified as a Belarusian citizen and was being sought by the police in the Netherlands.

A member of the royal family was in the castle

The royal palace, where King Harald V resides together with his wife Queen Sonja, is located in the center of the Norwegian capital Oslo. It is surrounded by a large palace park. The royal couple usually leaves the palace in the summer when it is open for tours. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit live with their family in Skaugum, west of Oslo. The palace confirmed late Monday that a member of the royal family was in the palace at the time of the attack, but did not name a person.

The palace grounds are open to the public, especially in summer when the gardens on the west side of the palace are also open. This is where the royal family's front door is located, while government members and other visitors usually enter through the center of the palace. The attacker's target was a door on the opposite side of the mid-18th century building, in an area where the royal guards are not normally stationed.


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