Further arrests made in connection with Oslo Pride shooting

The fatal attack took place on June 25, in and around one of the city's most popular queer venues.

Left: Arfan Bhatti, Right: Memorial for victims of Oslo Pride attack
Image: Left: Twitter: @MArizanti, Right: @formulamaja

Three more arrests have been made in connection with a deadly shooting that occurred at Oslo Pride earlier this year. Norwegian police confirmed on Monday, September 26, that two men were detained on Sunday in the country, with Aftenposten reporting this morning, September 27, that a third man has been arrested in Pakistan.

This brings the total number of suspects arrested to four, with the other person in custody being the suspected gunman Zaniar Matapour. The 42 year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin was arrested shortly after the attack on June 25, 2022, and faces preliminary charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism.

The two people detained on Sunday, one man with Somali citizenship in his 40s and one Norwegian national in his 30s, were known to authorities and face preliminary charges of “complicity in an act of terrorism”.

Authorities issued an international arrest warrant for a fourth suspect Arfan Bhatti on Friday, and he was reportedly detained by an anti-terror unit on Monday evening. 45 year-old Bhatti was being sought after in connection with the Oslo Pride attack due to allegedly posting online statements about killing gay people and it is also reported that he knew the aforementioned gunman, Zaniar Matapour.

The fatal attack in Norway’s capital city that killed two people and injured 21 others is being described by police as an “Islamist terror act”. It occurred in the early hours of June 25 in and around one of Oslo’s popular queer venues, London Pub, and led to the cancellation of the city’s annual Pride parade over safety fears from authorities and organisers.

However, the LGBTQ+ community did not back down and defiantly took to the streets days after the attack to show support and solidarity with the victims. Thousands marched in Oslo chanting: “We’re here, we’re queer, we won’t disappear!” and a memorial service was also held.

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