VIENNA (Reuters) – Several gunmen opened fire at six locations in central Vienna, which started near the central synagogue on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring others in the incident. The Interior Minister said it was a terrorist attack.
A large area of central Vienna has been frozen. Police said a substantial deployment was underway and that they shot and killed one of the suspects. They urge everyone to stay inside.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told Austrian television station ORF that the attack was believed to have been carried out by a few people and that all six locations were located close to the neighborhood with the central synagogue.
“For now, I can confirm that we believe this is a clear terror attack,”; he said.
“We believe there are a number of culprits. Unfortunately, there are also some people injured, perhaps also died.
Police said on Twitter that at least one person was killed and some people were injured, including a policeman. ORF reports that 15 people are receiving wound treatment at Vienna hospital, and 7 are in serious condition.
Authorities gave no indication of the identity of the attackers or the reason for the attack.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has witnessed two deadly knife attacks in Paris and Nice in recent weeks, issued a statement expressing shock and grief.
“This is our Europe,” he said. “Our enemies must know who they are dealing with. We will not withdraw.
French officials have stepped up security following attacks in Paris and Nice, which are suspicious of Islamic motives. Macron has deployed thousands of troops to protect places like places of worship and schools, and ministers have warned that other attacks by Islamic rebels could occur.
Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said on Twitter that it was not clear whether the synagogue and its adjacent offices were the target of the attack in Vienna, adding that they were closed at the time. there.
Video went viral on social media of a gunman running down a cobblestone street shooting and screaming. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the videos.
In 1981, two people were killed and 18 injured in an attack by two Palestinians at the same synagogue. In 1985, a group of Palestinian extremists attacked Vienna airport with grenades and assault rifles, killing three civilians.
In recent years, Austria has not experienced large-scale attacks in Paris, Berlin and London.
In August, authorities arrested a 31-year-old Syrian refugee suspected of trying to attack a leader of the Jewish community in Graz’s second city. The leader is not hurt.
Report by Francois Murphy in Vienna and Andrea Shalal in Washington, Written by Rosalba O’Brien, Editing by Howard Goller and Nick Tattersall