Man kills several people in Norway in bow-and-arrow attacks, police say

By Terje Solsvik and Victoria Klesty

OSLO (Reuters) -A man armed with a bow and arrow killed several people and wounded a number of others in attacks in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday, local police said.

At least five people had been killed in the attacks, public broadcaster NRK reported, citing unnamed sources.

"The man has been apprehended ... from the information we now have, this person carried out these actions alone," police chief Oeyvind Aas told reporters.

"Several people have been injured and several are dead," Aas said. He declined to comment on the precise number of casualties.

Aas added that "police had received several reports from people in Kongsberg of a man armed with what they said was a bow and arrow."

Newspaper VG showed images of an arrow that appeared to be stuck in the wall of a wood-paneled building.

The attacks took place over "a large area" of Kongsberg, a municipality of about 28,000 people in southeastern Norway, 68 km (42 miles) from the capital, Oslo.

The government said police had launched a large investigation.

"The reports coming from Kongsberg tonight are horrifying," Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference.

"I understand that many people are afraid, but it's important to emphasise that the police are now in control," she said.

Following the attacks, the police directorate said it had ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed.

"This is an extra precaution. The police have no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level," the directorate said in a statement.

Aas said police would investigate whether the attack amounted to an act of terrorism,

Norway's minister of justice and public security, Monica Maeland, has received updates on the attacks and was closely monitoring the situation, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Victoria Klesty; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)