|People place flowers and light candles for condolence in Oslo, capital of Norway, July 23, 2011. At least 84 people were killed when a gunman disguised as a police officer opened fire at a youth camp on Utoeya island, about 40 km west of Oslo. The shootings occurred hours after a massive explosion ripped through a high-rise building housing the prime minister's office in Oslo, killing seven people. (Xinhua/Tong Shuai)
by Yang Jingzhong, Devapriyo Das
OSLO, July 24 (Xinhua) -- "Merciless killer" was the word picked by 16-year-old witness Edvard Foernes to describe the lone gunman who carried out a massacre of at least 85 people on the island retreat of Utoeya.
The killer was later identified by police as Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old with extreme right-wing and fundamentalist Christian beliefs.
As Breivik's photo appeared in all news headlines in Norway, Foernes was quick to recognize him as the intruder who ravaged the island resort with an automatic rifle, killing dozens who were attending a summer camp conference for the youth wing of Norway's ruling Labor Party.
"Some were eating and some were working their phones. I was sleeping, and some people were talking and then was the sudden sound of 'Phoof'!" recalled Foernes, who was at the scene at the time.
According to recounts of other survivors, the gunman wore a police uniform and claimed that he was undertaking a routine security check in connection with the bomb blast that occurred just hours earlier.
"Come over and play with me ... don't be shy," Breivik reportedly told the campers right before going on his 90-minute-long rampage.
Foernes at first mistook the gunshots for "fireworks," but as soon as he realized what really happened, he stood up and ran into the surrounding woods.
"He (Breivik) was aiming at me," Foernes said, adding that at one point there was only 10 to 15 meters between the gunman and him.
Foernes said the cold-blooded gunman turned a blind eye even as some victims begged for their lives.
"All the girls were screaming. Every time he fired, they screamed, and in that way he could easily locate them," Foernes said, explaining how the gunman could hunt down and kill so many people even though they tried to hide.
Breivik also shot at those who tried to escape by jumping into the surrounding lake, and a girl dating with a friend of Foernes was killed as she tried to swim away.
Foernes eventually managed to reach the mainland after swimming through the lake, although sometimes he had to go underwater to get out of the killer's sight.
The ordeal ended eventually after Breivik was subdued by a police team dispatched from Oslo.
Despite some aftershock, Foernes say he wouldn't give in to terror and would definitely continue to attend a summer camp like the one on Utoeya.
Otherwise, the killer would have achieved his ends, he added.