Dubai: The gunman who slaughtered dozens of campers at a Norwegian island retreat used special bullets designed to disintegrate inside the body and cause maximum internal damage, the chief surgeon at a hospital treating victims said Sunday.
Dr Colin Poole, head of surgery at Ringriket Hospital in Honefoss northwest of Oslo, told The Associated Press that surgeons treating 16 gunshot victims have recovered only tiny fragments on bullets from victims' bodies, adding that the exit wounds were unusually small and weak.
"These bullets more or less exploded inside the body. All the energy of the bullets was deposited inside the tissue," Poole said. "They inflicted internal damage that's absolutely horrible."
Ballistics experts say dum-dum bullets are lighter in weight and can be fired with greater accuracy over varying distances. They commonly are used by air marshals and hunters of small animals.
Poole, a surgeon for 26 years at the hospital, said the bullets were "hyper-fragmentable" and produced confusing pictures on X-rays.
"It's caused us all kinds of extra problems in dealing with the wounds they cause, with very strange trajectories," he said. "The effect they cause inside the body is like a thousand pin pricks."
The man blamed for the massacre of 93 people in a shooting spree and car bombing in Norway saw his attacks as "atrocious, but necessary" to defeat liberal immigration policies and bring about a revolution in Norwegian society, his lawyer said Sunday.
Investigators were Sunday poring over a 1,500-page online manifesto apparently written by Anders Behring Breivik, 32, in which he said he had been preparing the "martyrdom operation" since at least autumn 2009.
The internet document — part diary, part bomb-making manual and part political rants on his Islamophobia — explains how he set up front mining and farming businesses to prepare the attacks for which he was arrested on Friday.
It also vowed revenge on "indigenous Europeans," whom he accused of betraying their heritage. In his first comment via a lawyer since his arrest, Breivik said he wanted to explain himself at a court hearing today. The death toll from the attacks rose to 93 yesterday, after one of those wounded in the attacks died in hospital.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja led the nation in mourning at an emotional memorial mass in Oslo.
Norwegians across the world — including in the UAE — were struggling to understand how a country famed as a beacon of peace could experience such bloodshed on its soil.
"It's ironic that Breivik‘s attacks were primarily aimed at a camp housing Norwegian teenagers. How will attacking such young children satiate his hatred towards foreigners?" asked Berit Helgetun Mian, a Norwegian visiting relatives in Dubai. "The summer camp at Utoeya was the place to be for budding politicians. I had a lot of friends there who were interested in politics," Saima-Irén Mian, Berit's daughter, told Gulf News.
"Sadly, the highest level of punishment in Norway is 21 years, which means even if Breivik gets the highest punishment, he will walk free at the age of 53," Berit said. The crimes have led to calls on the internet for the reinstatement of the death penalty.
The Norwegian Ambassador to the UAE told Gulf News the community in the UAE is still in deep shock over the killings. "We have a young politician from the Labour Party who is in training at the embassy. He is in a very bad shape as some of his friends were killed [in the Utoeya shooting]," Ase Elin Bjerke said.
- With inputs from agencies