VIENNA (Reuters) – Several gunmen opened fire at six locations in central Vienna, started near the synagogue in the center on Monday, killing at least one and injuring several others in the incident which the Interior Minister considers a terrorist attack.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said some of the “heavily armed and dangerous”; attackers remained lax as police shut down and block large areas of central Vienna during a raid. . Residents are encouraged to stay indoors.
“We have assembled a number of special forces units to look for alleged terrorists. Therefore, I do not limit it to one area of Vienna because these are the mobile culprits, ”Nehammer told ORF broadcaster.
Police said on Twitter that at least one person was killed and some people were injured, including a policeman. Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig told the ORF that 15 people are being treated in Vienna hospitals, and seven are in serious condition.
Police also said they shot and killed one of the attackers.
Nehammer said all six locations in the attack were located near the street with the central synagogue.
Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said on Twitter that it was not clear whether the synagogue and its adjacent offices were the target and said they were closed at the time.
“We are living on the premises of the synagogue. When we heard gunshots, we looked down (from) the windows and saw gunmen shooting at guests of various bars and pubs, ‘Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister told London’s LBC radio.
“The gunmen were running around and shot at least 100 bullets or even more in front of our building,” he said.
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.
TEAMS TO PROTECT THE SITE
Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz described what happened as a “frightening terrorist attack” and said the army would protect locations in the capital so that police could focus on counter-terrorist operations. Father.
The attack occurred hours before partially locked out due to the growing spread of the coronavirus, with restaurants, cafes and hotels closed and limited nighttime travel.
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 increased security since 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.
In 1981, two people were killed and 18 injured in an attack by two Palestinians at the same synagogue in Vienna. In 1985, a group of Palestinian extremists killed three civilians in an airport attack.
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.
Reports by Francois Murphy in Vienna, Michael Shields and Silke Koltrowitz in Berlin, and Andrea Shalal in Washington, Written by Rosalba O’Brien, Editing by Howard Goller and Nick Tattersall