Norway killer defends 'minor barbarity'

2012-04-23 22:40

Oslo - The Norwegian who massacred 77 people to protest against Muslim immigration to Europe, Anders Behring Breivik, said on Monday he had hoped to kill as many as 150 and kept on killing because police failed to respond urgently to his phone call.

Breivik has given a detailed account of his car bomb attack at government headquarters in Oslo on July 22, which killed eight people, followed hours later by his shooting of 69 people, mostly teenagers, at a Labour Party island camp.

He said on Monday his "gruesome" actions were to prevent a civil war caused, he said, by a Muslim takeover of Europe.

"This was a minor barbarity to prevent a larger one," he said on the sixth day of a trial that has transfixed Norway.

"I've never ever experienced such a horrendous ... gruesome act as this. But it was necessary," Breivik said in his usual tone, lacking emotion. "It was much more cruel than I expected."

Breivik said he thought that at least another 150 people had drowned in a lake as they fled his gunfire so he called police to surrender, only to find himself forced to leave a message.

"I said 'call me back when you got the right person'," Breivik said. "I told myself 'I will continue until the phone rings'. I thought, I will continue until I die. What would I have done, sat by the pier waiting?"

Breivik has denied criminal guilt, insisting his victims were "traitors" whose multiculturalist views facilitated what he saw as a de facto Muslim invasion of Europe.

Most Norwegians have reacted with horror to his testimony, delivered in a cold, matter-of-fact manner, while there is wide public acceptance of his right as a defendant to give it.

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