News24

Survivor held for 17 hours after attacks

2011-08-12 22:26

Oslo - After surviving the island massacre in Norway last month, the nightmare continued for a 17-year-old boy, who had endured horror in Chechnya, as police thought he might be an accomplice and locked him up, media reported Friday.

While Anzor Djoukaev was held in an Oslo jail for 17 hours, close to the cell housing 32-year-old self-confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik, his family was becoming increasingly convinced he had died in the shooting on Utoya island, the Verdens Gang (VG) daily reported.

"I thought that they were crazy to think I could have anything to do with such a thing," Djoukaev told the newspaper.

Police confirmed to VG they had arrested the teen on suspicion he might be an accomplice of the killer since he could not prove his identity and did not react to the carnage with the same tears and hysteria as most of the other survivors of the July 22 massacre, which left 69 people dead.

"We were concerned we might have a situation where a killer may have thrown away his weapon and blended in" with the survivors, Oslo police officer Johan Fredriksen told the paper.

Police did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment on the matter.

Lack of emotion

Djoukaev meanwhile explained his lack of emotions after right-wing extremist Behring Breivik's shooting rampage with his experiences as a child in Chechnya.

"When I was little, I lived in a house full of bodies. I remember seeing dogs eating them. And there were other experiences that also helped me keep my cool," he told VG.

When he was released from custody around midday on July 23, the teenager was finally able to borrow a telephone to call his family, interrupting an increasingly desperate search for him by his older brother and friends at the city's hospitals.

"The more time that lapsed the more I grew convinced that he was dead," his brother told VG.

On July 22, Behring Breivik first set off a car bomb outside government offices in Oslo, killing eight people, before going on his shooting spree on the nearby island of Utoeya where the ruling Labour Party's youth wing was hosting a summer camp. Many of the 69 killed there were teenagers.