The killing of 69 innocent people at a summer camp on the remote Norwegian island of Utoeya by the right-wing fanatic Anders Breivik horrified the world over.
But two survivors of the island massacre, who met as they swam from their lives, have been helping each other recover from the ordeal — and have fallen in love.
Sofie Tommeras Lyshagen, (19) and Hakon Knudsen (20) fled together as gunman Breivik slaughtered his victims with an assault rifle.
The pair only managed to survive the ordeal last July by swimming away from the island and hiding from Breivik.
But as the students comforted each other over the horrific scenes they witnessed that day they found that they had made more than just a close friend.
Sofie, whose ex-boyfriend and best friend were both shot dead at the youth camp on the isle of Utoeya, spotted Hakon swimming after she had been shot at.
She said, “We exchanged a few words and were both quite hysterical. But we have been together ever since. It was only later when we were safe in the countryside that the romance began. We felt the chemistry was good and that we understood and could help each other. This hasn’t broken us. We hope to spread a little joy through this — our love.”
She added that she hopes Breivik, who goes on trial next week accused of mass murder, realises the ‘evil he has done to others’.
She added that she still didn’t think he comprehended the impact of his actions.
Before his attack on Utoeya island, Breivik set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people on July 22 last year.
He then travelled 25 miles northwest of Oslo, to the summer camp and, dressed as a police officer, spent more than an hour killing a further 69 people.
It is expected that Breivik will spend the rest of his life in a psychiatric ward — a fate the gunman described as ‘worse than death’ in a letter released this week.
The 33-year-old wrote: “To send a political activist to an asylum is more sadistic and more evil than killing him! It is a fate worse than death.”