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One year ago today.

Norway marks anniversary of Breivik massacre

Norwegians on Sunday marked a year since right-wing extremistAnders Behring Breivik massacred 77 people, at a poignant memorial ceremony on the island of Utoeya where most of his mainly teenage victims fell.

"Let us honour the dead by celebrating life," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said on Utoeya island, where Breivik gunned down 69 people in a summer camp for members of the Labour Youth League.

Stoltenberg was speaking to around 1,000 members of the league, the youth section of the party, several of whom were survivors of last year’s assault.

The audience bowed their heads as he spoke.

"Even now, after a year has passed, it is impossible to fully comprehend the extent of the fear and suffering…" on the island last year, he said.

"This makes all that has happened since then even more impressive."

Earlier Sunday, Stoltenberg said that despite the great suffering Breivik had caused, he “failed to achieve what he set out to do. The people triumphed”.

Speaking on Utoeya island, he said young people had refused to accept that anyone should die because of their beliefs and had responded to the attacks by becoming more politically active.

The island ceremony began with a minute of silence and two songs sung by survivor Renate Taarnes, who saw her boyfriend killed.

Some of those present at the ceremony were overcome with emotion and had to leave early, but there were hugs and laughter amid the tears.

"Even though we carry a heavy burden, we are still standing," said Eskil Pedersen, leader of the party’s youth wing, who himself escaped the gunman’s bullet at the start of the massacre.

"He took some of our loveliest roses, but he could not stop the springtime."

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