Norway victims’ families visit slaughter site

The families of victims of Norway's July massacre on Saturday visited the island of Utøya where a right-wing extremist massacred 69 people, mainly youths, on July 22nd after killing eight people in central Oslo.

The trip, conducted under tight security and closed to the press who will be taken there on Monday, was difficult but cathartic, Health Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen said, according to Norwegian news agency NTB.

"For some it was very difficult but I think that the majority found the answers by coming here: it was important for them to come," she said.

Police inspector John Stamnes added: "Some wanted to know as much as possible, the others were more reticent. But all of them wanted to see the place where a family member was killed or wounded."

The self-confessed perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, is being held in solitary confinement.

In a manifesto he published on the Internet just before the attacks, Behring Breivik professed his hatred for Western-style democracy, saying it had spawned the multicultural society he loathed.

At the time of the attack, the ruling Labour Party's youth wing was hosting a summer camp on the picture postcard island near Oslo.

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