Wounded survivor revisits massacre island as Norway trial looms

Thu Apr 5, 2012 7:15am GMT
 

By Walter Gibbs

UTOEYA, Norway (Reuters) - She last saw Anders Behring Breivik when he raised his rifle at her on the shore of a small Norwegian island and calmly pulled the trigger. Now, 18-year-old Alexandra Peltre will face him in court as he stands trial for killing 77 people that summer's day.

"I saw him right in the eyes, and poof! I had a hole in my leg," she said during a return to the wooded island where Breivik, an anti-Islam fanatic, killed 69 of his victims as they attended a Labour Party youth summer camp.

"I don't take anything for granted anymore," Peltre said, reflecting on the eight months since the massacre shook Norway.

Peltre was among the last people shot on Utoeya island, and one of 33 who survived severe injuries. Earlier that day Breivik had set off a fertiliser bomb at government headquarters in Oslo, killing eight and hurting more than 200.

His targets, he later said, were "traitors" whose politics let too many Muslims into Norway. Peltre hopes confronting him at his trial, due to start in just over a week, will help her put the woeful day behind her.

"After the court case, I think it will be easier to learn to live with what happened," she told Reuters, reclining on the rocky spit where Breivik, now 33, cornered her.

Like Norway, she has become tougher and warier. She is still fashion crazy, she says, but "gallows humour" shades her buoyant sense of fun, and she recently got tattooed.

"I have these days when I am very sad," she said.   Continued...

Survivor Alexandra Peltre (L) and her friend Andrea Markussen travel by boat to Utoeya island, northwest of Oslo April 2, 2012. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
 
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