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One person wounded in Norway mosque shooting; suspect is arrested

The gunman, a white man wearing body armour and helmet, was overpowered by people at mosque before police arrived
Norwegian police officer in front of Al-Noor Islamic Centre on Saturday after shooting (AFP)

A gunman armed with multiple weapons opened fire in a mosque near the Norwegian capital Oslo on Saturday, wounding one person before being overpowered by worshippers, police and witnesses said. Later, police said a woman related to the suspect was found dead.

The victim in the mosque attack was a 75-year-old member of the congregation, director of the Al-Noor Islamic Centre Irfan Mushtaq told local channel TV2, according to Reuters. "The man carried two shotgun-like weapons and a pistol. He broke through a glass door and fired shots," Mushtaq said.

The gunman, a white man who wore body armour and a helmet, was overpowered by people at the mosque before police arrived, Mushtaq said, according to the BBC.

Oslo Police confirmed the attack on Twitter, saying: "One person is shot. The severity of that person's injuries is unknown. One suspect is arrested." They said the suspect appeared to have acted alone, the BBC reported.

Police said there was no indication that more people than the "young man" arrested were involved in Saturday's incident, but that they had no further information about the suspect, AFP said.

Later, police said a woman related to the suspected gunman was found dead in a home near where the attack took place. "We consider this a suspicious death ... The dead person is related to the man arrested earlier today," police spokesman Rune Skjold told a news conference late Saturday.

Mushtaq said he had arrived at the scene shortly after being alerted about the gunman and had gone to the back of the building while waiting for police to arrive.

"Then I see that there are cartridges scattered and blood on the carpets, and I see one of our members is sitting on the perpetrator, covered in blood," Mushtaq told local newspaper VG.

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According to Mushtaq, the mosque had not received any threats ahead of the shooting.

The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) said it was monitoring the situation.

"We're following the events and are continually evaluating. It's too early to draw any conclusions," Martin Bernsen, information director at PST, told public broadcaster NRK.

There has been a recent spate of white nationalist attacks in the West, including in the United States and in New Zealand, where 51 Muslim worshippers were killed in March in shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

The Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Norway shares its name with the worst affected mosque in the New Zealand shootings, and following those attacks, it implemented extra security measures.

The suspect in the Christchurch killings wrote a hate-filled manifesto in which he said he was influenced by far-right ideologues including Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

In 2011, anti-Muslim neo-Nazi Breivik detonated a bomb in Oslo that killed eight people and then opened fire on a gathering of the Labour Party's youth wing on the island of Utoya, killing another 69 people, most of them teenagers.