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Mysterious explosion rocks Oslo government buildings

by Jorge Hernandez on July 22, 2011

A serious explosion caught people in Oslo, Norway, by surprise as windows were shattered and government buildings – including that of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg – were damaged. Reports are currently conflicting on whether the Prime Minister was harmed, but BBC claims that this is likely not the case. However, there were visible fires burning in the 17-story building. 

At least one street is a swath of destruction, littered with rubble and smudged by rising clouds of smoke. "I saw three or four injured people being carried out of the building a few minutes later," witness Ole Tommy Pederson told The Associated Press.

At least eight people were injured from the blast, which currently has no known cause. However, the news provider notes that Norway has currently been waging a domestic battle with possible terror plots. Matters came to a head last week when a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraq-born cleric who issued death threats to Norwegian politicians.

Reuters notes that "the tangled wreckage of a car" was outside one of the damaged buildings, which may indicate that the explosion may have originated from a car bomb.

MSNBC reports that a Twitter user named Christian Aglen posted a photo of stunned Oslo residents gathering down the street from the blast while the smoke rose into the sky. He included a video of the explosion's aftermath, which shows an alarming scene of broken windows and a confused crowd. Sirens and alarms blare in the background.

"I've never seen an explosion like this," Lise Sand Tweeted, according to the news source. "I can't believe how well we felt it. We're pretty far away… Our windows shook, and we could actually feel the shake." She added, "The whole area is evacuated. Sirens everywhere." 

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