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Sign of hate from mass killer

HIS face frozen in a chilling gaze, a mass killer gives a Nazi-style salute in court today.

Right-wing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik made the dramatic gesture as his trial opened in Oslo today. The extremist has already confessed to killing 77 people in a bomb and shooting massacre in Norway last summer.

Dressed in a dark suit, he smiled as a guard removed his handcuffs at the district court in the capital, Oslo this morning.

The 33-year-old anti-Muslim militant flashed a closed-fist salute, before shaking hands with prosecutors and court officials, and told the judge he did not recognise the court.

Breivik has admitted the attacks on July 22 last year, claiming they were necessary to protect Norway from being taken over by Muslims.

The key issue to be resolved in the 10-week trial is the state of Breivik's mental health, which will decide whether he is sent to prison or to psychiatric care.

Police will seal off streets around the court building, where journalists, survivors and relatives of victims can watch the proceedings in a 200-seat specially-built courtroom.