January 18, 2019 / 2:04 PM / 10 months ago

Oslo stabbing investigated as terrorist attack - police

A view of a supermarket where yesterday's knife attack took place, in Oslo, Norway, January 18, 2019. NTB Scanpix/Terje Bendiksby via REUTERS

OSLO (Reuters) - A knife attack in a supermarket in Oslo is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, the head of the Norwegian police’s security service (PST) said on Friday.

A woman was knifed on Thursday as she was paying at the till and the suspect, a 20-year-old Russian man, was arrested soon after, police said.

“The man said under questioning that he wanted to kill several people and that this was an act of terror,” PST head Benedicte Bjoernland told a news conference.

The suspect had arrived in Oslo on Thursday, travelling from Russia via neighbouring Sweden, she said. There were no other suspects.

Police were investigating possible links to Islamist extremism, Bjoernland said, adding that the victim was critically ill in hospital.

Russia’s foreign ministry and FSB state security service did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment about the stabbing incident and the background of the suspect.

The most recent fatal terrorism attack in Norway was in 2011 when far-right militant Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in a bombing in central Oslo and a shooting spree on a nearby island.

In 2017, a 17-year-old Russian who prosecutors said had frequented Islamist websites was sentenced to nine months in jail for making a small bomb and bringing it to the centre of Oslo on a busy Saturday night. The device failed to go off.

Additional reporting by Tatiana Ustinova in Moscow; Editing by John Stonestreet

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