June 20, 2012 / 1:58 PM / 6 years ago

Norway to rename Bomb island near Breivik killings

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway plans to rename tiny Bomb island, near Utoeya island where Anders Behring Breivik brutally gunned down 69 people last year and plans to hold a contest to select a new name.

“We have to do all we can to make life easier for those who will struggle with this for the rest of their lives,” local mayor Per Berger said on Wednesday.

Residents of the area now consider Bombeøya, a name given after World War Two when Nazi Germany bombed the island, inappropriate in the wake of the Breivik killings and the municipal authorities want locals to propose a more positive name to honor victims Berger told Reuters.

Breivik killed 77 people last year, first detonating a fertilizer bomb at government headquarters in Oslo and killing 8, then gunning down 69 people, mostly teenagers on Utoeya at the ruling Labour Party’s summer camp.

Breivik is now on trial, facing a 21-year jail sentence if declared sane or indefinite detention in a mental institution if declared insane.

”In Norway we do not change names like this without a pressing need.“ said Anne Svanevik, an official at the Norwegian mapping authority. ”It is clear that such conditions are present, and we would most likely change it quite quickly if a request should come from the municipality.

Reporting By Vegard Botterli, editing by Paul Casciato

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