First described by the police as an episode of “indiscriminate” violence, the incident took place in Nore og Uvdal, a village of less than 3,000 inhabitants, in the so-called Numedal valley.
“We can confirm that there was a family link between the perpetrator of the attack and one of the stabbed people,” Inspector Odd Skei Kosvteit said in a statement.
“It’s a family from Syria, and the perpetrator and one of the injured are married,” he added.
The wife was taken by helicopter to be hospitalized in a condition described as “critical” while another man, whose identity has not been specified, suffered more minor injuries.
Witnesses quoted by Norwegian media spoke of a woman lying near “a large pool of blood”.
The alleged perpetrator of the attack also suffered minor injuries which did not, however, require hospitalization, said a police official, Tom Richard Jensen, during a press briefing.
The police did not provide any information on the cause of the tragedy, but according to the TV2 channel, the suspect had been the subject of a complaint last November for domestic violence and was under investigation.
A ban on visiting his wife had been pronounced, added TV2, which understands that this ban had so far been respected.
The perpetrator of the attack, which occurred near a bus stop between a convenience store and a high school, was subdued by passers-by before help arrived, police said.
According to the Norwegian media, it was a bus driver and high school students who managed to master it.
The incident took place a few dozen kilometers northwest of Kongsberg, a town where a bow and knife attack killed five people, randomly targeted, last October.
Its author, a Dane suffering according to experts from psychiatric disorders, has been on trial since Thursday in Norway.
The proximity between these two episodes contributed to reinforcing the feeling of fear within the population.
“I have no knowledge of prior threats,” Nore og Uvdal mayor Jan Gaute Bjerke told TV2. “This kind of episode usually happens like a clap of thunder in a blue sky.”
The high school as well as the surrounding schools were quickly secured, according to him.
According to the NRK channel, several students witnessed the incident.
“We confirm that there was an incident near the school”, indicated the high school of Numedal on its site. “Medical personnel and the police are in the school and are in charge of following up the incident”.