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Norwegian King Leads Memorial Service for Massacre Victims

Norway's King Harald speaks during national memorial ceremony in Oslo, 21 August 2011

Norway's King Harald sought to comfort his grieving nation Sunday, as mourners marked the end of a month largely dedicated to honoring the 77 people killed July 22 by a right-wing extremist in a bombing and shooting massacre.

Harald delivered an emotional address to nearly 7,000 people in Oslo. He said his thoughts have focused especially with those directly affected by the massacre. The killings included a bombing in Oslo that claimed eight lives and a shooting rampage that killed 69 others at a youth camp on a lake island northwest of the capital.

Speaking to relatives of the slain, Harald said "as a father, grandfather and a husband, I can only imagine your pain. As the country's king, I feel with every one of you."

The nationally televised ceremony, including a memorial concert, was attended by Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, as well as Norwegian lawmakers and a host of leading politicians and royals from neighboring countries.

Anders Behring Breivik has admitted to killing his 77 victims, in carefully planned attacks designed to protest an influx of Muslims into Norway and to punish lawmakers for embracing multiculturalism.

Lawyers for the 32-year-old confessed killer say their client has denied criminal responsibility because he believes the killings were necessary to save Norway.

On Saturday, about 1,000 survivors and relatives traveled to Utoeya island to view the scenes of the shootings. Five hundred relatives of the dead visited the island Friday.