World

Police detonate 'bomb-like device' in Oslo

OSLO: Norwegian police set off a controlled explosion of a "bomb-like device" in central Oslo early yesterday and are holding a suspect in custody in an investigation led by security police.

A Reuters reporter described a bang shortly after Oslo's bomb squad arrived with a remote-controlled robot once the area was cordoned off by police late on Saturday night.

"The noise from the blast was louder than our explosives themselves would cause," a police spokesman said, adding that further investigation was needed to find out if the device had contained explosives.

The device, about 30cm across, had appeared to be capable of causing only a limited amount of damage. Forensics experts will examine fragments to figure out what it was.

Police across the Nordic region have been on heightened alert after a truck ploughed into a crowd in Stockholm last Friday. Four were killed and 15 more injured in what police called an apparent terror attack.

Norwegian police detained a suspect but declined to give information about his identity.

Norway's police security service, which focuses on crimes that may pose a danger to national security, said in a tweet it had taken over the investigation from local police. A spokesman said: "We are in a very early phase of the investigation."

Police took away cordons in the Gronland area and residents resumed normal Sunday activities. There was no sign of police at the site.

The area is a multi-ethnic neighbourhood, and it is home to popular bars and restaurants, several mosques and the city's main police station.

The police station is less than a kilometre away from where the device was found. - REUTERS

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