Bomb sent to police ‘was meant to kill’

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A suspicious package sent to the main police station in Ski, south of Oslo, was found to contain what investigators describe as a “sharp bomb with potential to cause widespread damage.” It was not sent simply as part of a bomb scare, police claimed on Thursday, but “was meant to kill.”

The police chief in Ski, Steven Hasseldal, was firm in his message that the bomb sent to the headquarters of Norway’s eastern police district was meant to do great damage and kill employees. PHOTO: NRK screen grab

The drama began Wednesday morning, when employees on the job in the police station’s mail room received what they simply described as a “suspicious package.” The police station (Politihuset) in Ski serves as the headquarters for the Øst (Eastern) police district that covers all of Østfold County and large portions of Akershus County.

Upon closer inspection the object inside the box contained what appeared to be a detonator. All employees within the building that covers at least a city block in central Ski were evacuated and the area cordoned off until, reported state broadcaster NRK, the state police’s bomb squad neutralized what they defined as an “improvised explosive device” (IED) by using a robot that literally shot it.

“We view (the incident) as an attack on the police,” Steven Hasseldal, the police chief in Ski, said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. He told reporters that the device “was not meant to scare us, but to do damage,” Hasseldal said, adding that police believe the sender’s intention was for it “to go off and kill employees within the police. This is extremely serious and an attack against democracy and our governance.”

The bomb and its detonator were homemade, he added, but designed to explode. Special security precautions were imposed immediately to protect employees that also applied to reporters turning up at the press conference, when everyone had to submit to security checks before being allowed into the police station. The state crime unit Kripos has been called in to aid the investigation into who sent the package.

Hasseldal said there was no note or message of any kind in the package, which is now being subjected to close technical examination and DNA analysis.

“This case has the highest priority for us and we’re ready to use large resources on it,” Hasseldal said. The bomb itself has been taken to Kripos’ headquarters in Oslo. No charges and no arrests had been made as of late Thursday afternoon.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund