A local Norwegian speaks about Oslo attacks - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

A local Norwegian speaks about Oslo attacks

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Less than a week after terror rippled through Norway, a country is left to pick up the pieces. The main concern is how the nation will move forward.

When people hear of Norway, picturesque landscapes come to mind, freedom and innovation, surely not wars and terror attacks. A local Norwegian said he was utterly surprised to hear the news, last Friday.

This was the scene in Oslo, as Anders Breivik, lashed out, bombing government buildings and shooting innocent civilians at a summer camp.

"I was extremely surprised that something like that would happen there," stated Byron Stadsvold.

Stadsvold, is President of the local chapter of Sons of Norway. Having traveled to Norway, he describes the country as "social and open-minded".

"Very open people, they accept any body that comes, they are very accepting. They greet them, they bring them into their homes, they treat them just like long, lost friends," stated Stadsvold.

Acceptance however, stops at Muslims. On the Internet Breivik called for a Christian war to defend Europe against Muslim domination, a hot topic in Europe.

In Switzerland - Mosque Minarets have been banned. In Belgium - Burkahs banned. In France, Burkahs and praying in the streets - banned.

Stadsvold is hard pressed to believe Breivik's right-wing extremism is entirely to blame for the tragedy.

"I would tend to think he more went off the deep end and wants to get some notoriety for something and he picked this miserable way to do it," said Stadsvold.

For now, Stadsvold said all anyone can do is offer their support to a country in dire need.

Stadsvold hasn't been in contact with his family since the attacks, but said they live far north of Oslo and he is confident they were out of harms way.

The latest reports shows the death toll has decreased from 86 to 76. Thousands of flowers have been laid around the city, mourning the dead.

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