Political leaders around the world expressed sympathy with Norway and outrage after scores of people died in shootings and a car bomb explosion on Friday.

Some used the word "terror," although Norway has not said the attacks were acts of terrorism.

The U.N. Security Council issued a statement Saturday saying it "condemned in the strongest terms" the deadly twin terrorist attacks in Norway and offered condolences to the victims of what it called "these heinous acts."

The council's statement said that "any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed."

Norwegians React

YOUR TAKE: Trying to understand tragedy in Oslo. Comic book writer and illustrator Øystein Runde reacts to the attacks in a piece for CBC News based on a longer post in his blog.

Jan Solberg, an Oslo-based Writer/Journalist:

"Norway is a peaceful country, like Canada in many ways, very few killings and little violence. I hope and believe it will stay this way. Because Norway has been so safe, security also has been low. Politicians have, to a great extent, been able to move freely, without guards and security precautions, and it has been easy for journalists etc to enter government buildings. I think the security level will change. Norway lost its innocence yesterday. Norway is a little country, hardly five million people. The bombing and the killings yesterday affects the whole population in some way or another. When the names of the dead are official, I believe most Norwegians will know someone who knew someone on the list. I just biked through the centre, and it was very quite. Although it's Saturday, the streets were dead." 

Some of the comments so far:

  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: "Canada condemns these barbarous and senseless acts of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, witnesses and all those affected by these attacks."
  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "This tragedy strikes right at the heart of the soul of a peaceful people."
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron: "These attacks are a stark reminder of the threat we all face from terrorism."
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "While the background isn't yet entirely clear, it is said that hatred was a motive. Hatred of others, hatred of those who look different, of the supposedly foreign — this hatred is our common enemy."
  • Finnish European Affairs Minister Alexander Stubb: "When I see what happened in Norway I just want to cry. … I could give Norway a big hug."

On the other side of the world, leaders also expressed their sympathay.

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai: "The Afghan people have long been affected by terrorism and can understand the pains of the Norwegian people more than anyone else."
  • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard: "From the tales that are now being told by survivors, it's clear that many have lived through absolute nightmares."
  • Pakistani Foreign Ministry: "Pakistan itself has suffered enormously from terrorist attacks and fully empathizes with the government and the people of Norway."