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Norwegians continue to mourn

Tens of thousands turn out for a vigil at night, as throngs of mourners pour into the streets through the day. Some express anger outside a courthouse where suspect Anders Behring Breivik is brought for a hearing.

July 26, 2011|By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
  • Tens of thousands of people hold flowers during a vigil outside Oslo's City Hall. Similar gatherings were held in other cities across the country.
Tens of thousands of people hold flowers during a vigil outside Oslo's… (Aleksander Andersen, AFP/Getty…)

Reporting from Oslo — Florists in Norway's capital could scarcely keep pace with the demand Monday as throngs of mourners poured into the streets for a nationwide moment of silence and, later in the day, a massive vigil that drew tens of thousands of people.

Long lines snaked past many florist storefronts as Norwegians waited to buy flowers for an expanding memorial site in central Oslo, where a carpet of bouquets, candles, flags and children's drawings has taken over a square outside the Oslo Domkirke cathedral, just blocks from the site of Friday's deadly bomb blast.

But amid the tears and quiet prayers were the first signs of public anger, which bubbled up outside the Oslo courthouse. Hundreds of people camped out and waited anxiously for the arrival of terrorism suspect Anders Behring Breivik on his way to his first hearing.

Photos: Deadly attacks shock Norway

Many said they just needed to see the face of the man accused of one of Europe's deadliest terrorist attacks. Others hoped to hear an explanation that might make the tragedy easier to comprehend.

When a dark vehicle with tinted windows, which the crowd mistook for the one transporting Breivik, drove inside the court's parking garage, a handful of youths shouted obscenities and pounded their hands on it as it passed.

"Traitor!" screamed Alexander Roine, 24, an activist with the ruling Labor Party who knew three victims of the shooting rampage Friday at the party's youth camp on Utoya Island. "Get out of this car and I'll kill you on the street."

Later Breivik reportedly arrived through a different entrance. A photograph taken during the ride showed him unshaven, dressed in a red shirt and flashing a bemused smile.

In France, investigators searched the home of Breivik's estranged father, Associated Press reported. The father, who says he lost touch with his son in 1995, denied any knowledge of Breivik's activities and said he wished his son would have killed himself after the attack.

"I am so full of sorrow and despair," Jens David Breivik, a former Norwegian diplomat, told the Swedish newspaper Expressen. "And I will become involved in this, whether I like it or not. I'm his father. I just hope that people will understand that I have nothing to do with this."

Photos: Deadly attacks shock Norway

edmund.sanders@latimes.com

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