Police detain a man, bottom left laying on the ground, next to a damaged ambulance that he stole after an incident in the centre of Oslo. Picture: Cathrine Hellesoy, Aftenposten via AP

Oslo - An armed man stole an ambulance in Oslo on Tuesday, lightly injuring five people including two babies in an apparent attempt to target pedestrians, Norwegian police and hospital officials told Reuters.

The man was apprehended after police shot at the vehicle, police said, adding the suspect was not critically injured.

Police said the suspect had appeared to deliberately hit pedestrians, and that they had found a significant amount of what appeared to be illegal drugs following the arrest, as well as a shotgun and an Uzi semiautomatic weapon.

They would also investigate whether the suspect had ties to far-right extremists, although a motive had not been established, and it had yet to interview the suspect.

"Two babies were injured after the hijacked ambulance hit a family. They are twins, seven months old, they are being treated," Oslo University hospital spokesman Anders Bayer told Reuters.

A damaged ambulance with bullet holes in the door is seen crashed into a building after an incident in the centre of Oslo. Picture: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB scanpix via AP

The injures were light however, police later said.

Public broadcaster NRK showed images of an ambulance driving in the Torshov neighbourhood of Oslo while several gunshots rang out.

The hospital spokesman said the ambulance crew had responded to a routine incident when their vehicle was taken.

An upturned car is cordoned off by police after an incident in the centre of Oslo. Norwegian police opened fire on an armed man who stole an ambulance in Oslo and reportedly ran down several people. Picture: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB scanpix via AP

"They were called to an ordinary traffic accident where they were met by the armed person," Bayer said, adding that the hospital had quickly tracked the ambulance via its built-in GPS device.

"Some minutes later one of our other ambulances managed to stop the hijacked vehicle by crashing into it. Then the police came after the crash and got him," he said.

A damaged ambulance is seen crashed into a building after an incident in the centre of Oslo. Picture: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB scanpix via AP

The ambulance came to a halt just over 1.5 km (1 mile) from where it was hijacked.

"An armed man stole an ambulance, drove away and hit some people. We got him now," the police spokesman told Reuters.

A damaged ambulance is seen parked after an incident in the centre of Oslo. Picture: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB scanpix via AP

"There is nothing to indicate that this incident is terrorism related," Oslo police operations leader Erik Hestvik told reporters. The police added in a statement: "The investigation is still in an early phase ... We are conducting a broad, intensive investigation." 

Norwegian police opened fire on an armed man who stole an ambulance in Oslo and reportedly ran down several people. Picture: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB scanpix via AP
Reuters