Norway police say 24 were targeted in bow and arrow attack
Norwegian Minister of Justice and Emergency Management Emilie Enger Mehl (L) lays flowers and lights candles for the victims of a violent armed attack that left five people killed and two injured on Wednesday night, alongside Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store. Terje Bendiksby/NTB/dpa

Norwegian police said on Wednesday that 24 people were now being treated as victims of a bow and arrow attack earlier this month in which five people were killed.

A man rampaged through the town of Kongsberg west of Oslo on October 13, firing arrows and attacking people at random in their homes.

Main suspect Espen Andersen Brathen, a Dane living in Kongsberg, was arrested at the scene and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, with police believing mental illness is behind the attack.

"So far we have 24 victims in the case," police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told a press conference, giving a total figure for the first time

He said the number included the five killed, three who were injured and 16 others who had been "subjected to different events",

"These are typically attempted murders and attempted woundings, mostly those who were shot at with a bow and arrow," he said, stressing that the number could change.

Omholt said police were "keeping the door open" on the motive for the attack.

Brathen had previously said on social media he had converted to Islam, leading to speculation it was a jihadist attack.

But the investigation had "further weakened" the jihadist hypothesis, Omholt said, adding that it was unclear whether or not he had really converted to Islam.

© 2021 AFP