At least one victim was killed and 15 people wounded in suspected terrorist attacks at multiple locations Monday night in Vienna, Austria. One alleged perpetrator was also killed by law enforcement, and a police officer is among the wounded.
What are the details?
The Associated Press reported that police “said several shots were fired” in “a lively street in the city center and that there were six different shooting locations,” adding that “Austria’s top security official said authorities believe there were several gunmen involved and that a police operation was still ongoing.”
Gunfire broke out near the central synagogue in the Austrian capital shortly after 8 p.m. local time, but it is unclear whether the place of worship was a target because it was closed at the time.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told the media, “At the moment I can confirm we believe this is an apparent terror attack,” according to Reuters.
Authorities gave no indication of the identity of the assailants or reason for the attack.
Sky News reported that 15 people were transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries, and seven of them were seriously wounded. One of the injured is a law enforcement officer.
One civilian has been confirmed dead, and one suspect was killed by police.
Viennese police on Twitter warned locals to stay away from public places and public transport. Monday is the last night before Austria’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown begins, and some had therefore decided to go out to restaurants, bars and other venues. Many are now trapped in these places in the city center.
Vienna’s chief Rabbi Scholomo Hofmeister told British radio outlet LBC that he witnessed “at least two” gunmen firing upon bar and restaurant patrons at the scene of one of the attack locations.
The attacks on Vienna follow two recent terrorist attacks in France that left four people dead — two of whom were decapitated — following the republishing of satirical cartoons by Charlie Hebdo magazine, which depicted the Islamic Prophet Muhammed.
France is now facing a boycott by hard-lined Muslims in countries across the globe, and demonstrations were held worldwide. Tens of thousands of Muslims have marched in the streets condemning the cartoons as blasphemy, even hanging and burning effigies of French President Emmanuel Macron after he condemned the murders and defended the right to free expression.
Macron tweeted in German on Monday, “”We, French people, share in the shock and sorrow of Austrians after an attack in Vienna. After France, another friendly country has been attacked. This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with. We will not give up.”
Wir, Franzosen, teilen den Schock und die Trauer von der Österreicher nach einer Angriff in Wien. Nach Frankreich i… https://t.co/iERLFLFDlc
— Emmanuel Macron (@Emmanuel Macron)1604352941.0