Big Blast Hits Government Buildings in Central Oslo

NYTimes: A large explosion shook central Oslo on Friday and blew out the windows of several government buildings, including one housing the office of the Norwegian prime minister, according to local media reports. There were initial reports of several injuries. Readers’ CommentsShare your thoughts.
The sound of the blast echoed across the city just before 3:30 local time, and a giant cloud of white smoke continued to rise hundreds of feet into the air over the city as a fire burned in one of the buildings. Reuters said the fire was in the building housing the country’s oil ministry.
Initial media reports described a chaotic scene as police cleared the area around the building and were searching for additional explosives, according to the daily Aftenposten. Photos and television footage showed a 17-story building with windows blown out and the surrounding street strewn with glass and debris.
Norwegian media reported that the prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, was safe.
The cause of explosion was not immediately clear, but a Reuters reporter described seeing the mangled wreckage of a car near one of the buildings.
While Norway has seen little political violence in recent years, the country has a small fighting contingent in Afghanistan and was one of several countries cited by Ayman al-Zawahri, the Al Qaeda leader, as potential targets for attack. In 2006, Norwegian newspapers reprinted Danish cartoons that angered Muslims by lampooning the Prophet Muhammad.
Three Norwegian men were arrested in July 2010 on suspicion of terrorism and were said to be a terrorist “node” in a larger glo