Oslo shooting
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Oslo Pride has been cancelled following a deadly shooting near a gay bar that Norwegian police are investigating as a possible terrorist attack.

Two people were killed and at least 10 others were seriously wounded when a gunman opened fire near London Pub, which describes itself as “the largest gay and lesbian venue in Oslo” on the night of 24 June.

The shooting came just hours before the Norwegian city was set to host thousands for its first Pride parade since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But now, the event’s organisers have canceled the main parade and other events connected to the 10-day Pride festival at the suggestion of the police.

Police received multiple calls about the shooting at 1:14 am local time on 25 June, and arrived at the scene minutes later, apprehending the male suspect three minutes after arrival, according to police.

In addition to those seriously wounded, 11 others were lightly injured, some during a panicked rush to flee the scene, Christian Hatlo, a lawyer for the police told reporters.

The gunman, who opened fire outside two nightclubs, was a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen who was originally from Iran and had a record of minor crimes, Hatlo said.

Reactions to the shootings have been one of surprise as Oslo is a notably LGBTQ+ inclusive city and safety for the community is not seen as a major issue there.

Nevertheless, police say they have reason to assume that the attack was a hate crime because one of the three venues targeted was London Pub, a hub of gay nightlife in Oslo.

Norway’s domestic intelligence service has also said it is investigating whether more acts of violence are planned after the shooting.

Writing on Facebook, organisers of Oslo Pride announced the cancellation of all of its Pride events and asked everyone not to attend.

“We will follow the police’s recommendations and take care of each other. Warm thoughts and love go to relatives, the injured and others affected,” said leader of Oslo Pride, Inger Kristin Haugsevje, and leader of the Association for Gender and Sexuality Diversity, Inge Alexander Gjestvang, in a joint statement.

“We will soon be proud and visible again, but today we will hold and share the pride celebrations from home.”

Despite this, hundreds did gather in Oslo the morning of 25 June to plant flowers, march and pay respect to those lost.