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Attack on Vienna: Austrian police make two more arrests



Authorities identified the attacker as Fejzulai Kujtim, a 20-year-old Austrian from the town of St. Mary. Poelten, 33 km west of Vienna and is the capital of the state of Niederoesterreich.

The latest suspects arrested Tuesday have been detained at St. ORF, the ORF said. Poelten after police searched the two apartments, ORF added that the two were between the ages of 20 and 25 and living with relatives.

One of the two is of North Macedonian origin, and the other Chechen, television station said. Both are believed to have ties to the Vienna attacker in the past, according to the ORF.

Swiss police arrested two Swiss nationals involved in the attack on Tuesday night, but their connection with Kujtim has not been confirmed.

Witnesses describe the horror of the gunman attacking the 'Bermuda Triangle' in Vienna

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said in an earlier press conference on Tuesday that 14 suspects were temporarily arrested after 18 home searches in Vienna and Niederoesterreich.

Nehammer said there are currently no signs that the second culprit.

“You can imagine that some of the evidence that has been confidential here needs to be screened,” Vienna State Police President Gerhard Puerstl said at a similar press conference.

“Interviews must also be done. It is important to establish a connection between these people and the assassin,” Puerstl said, adding that this will take a long time.

Police stood guard in the center of Vienna on Tuesday, the day after the attack.

People start to return to the streets of central Vienna on Wednesday morning, although coronavirus pandemic restrictions mean more people are working from home. Authorities warned residents to stay home on Tuesday out of concern that other perpetrators might be committing.

Kujtim was shot dead by police, who responded to Monday night’s shooting. According to Nehammer, he wore a fake explosive belt at the time of the attack and was “radicalized”.

Mr. Nehammer told state news agency APA, Kujtim was sentenced to 22 months in prison on April 25, 2019 for attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS. On December 5, he was released early on parole, it reported.

Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz told CNN on Tuesday that his country is not only looking to fight terrorists, but the ideology behind them as well.

In an interview with CNN’s Fred Pleitgen in Vienna, Kurz said that there was a gunman and “maybe he was alone.” Authorities had previously feared that the culprit was not acting alone and that there could be another gunman.

Kurz confirmed the gunman was born in Austria and has a background from North Macedonia. “What we do know is that he is a supporter of the Islamic State,” he said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday, calling the shooter “Abu Dujana Al-Albany” and claiming that he used two guns, including a machine gun and a knife, in the attack, according to a statement posted on the encrypted messaging app. Telegram.

Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz knelt and laid a wreath on Tuesday near the site of the attack.

The initial attack, which began around 8pm on Monday, focused on the busy shopping and dining district near Vienna’s main synagogue, Seitenstettengasse Temple, was closed.

The other five locations identified were Salzgries, Fleischmarkt, Bauernmarkt, Graben and Morzinplatz near the Temple, according to an Austrian law enforcement source told journalists on Tuesday.

Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig said the shots appeared to have been shot at random, when people eat dinner and drink outside due to the warm weather and viral concerns.

After gunshots were reported, armed police quickly swept into the area, with helicopters and ambulances deployed. Police can be seen patrolling the city center, ordering people to stay in bars and restaurants.

A Palestinian man, Osama Abu El Hosna, helped rescue a police officer injured during the campaign, his lawyer told CNN. “He can run away, but he stays, and he pulls the policeman behind a cement barrier so he won’t stay in the flames,” lawyer Muna Duzdar said.

“The paramedics did not dare to pull him out and rush into gunfire, so that’s when he ran back to get the officer out, and then two people from Turkey helped out. because he can’t do it on his own, “she added. “Together, they pulled him into an ambulance.”

Reuters and Turkish news agency Anadolu reported on Tuesday that two Turkish-Austrian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters had helped save a police officer and two women during the attack.

Like many European countries, Austria experienced a surge of young Muslim extremists trying to join ISIS in Syria between 2014 and 2017, before the terrorist group declared itself to fall. .

The UK raised its terrorist threat from significant to serious on Tuesday, the day after the attack in Vienna.

“This is a precautionary measure and is not based on any specific threat. The public should continue to be alert and report any suspicious activity to the police,” UK Interior Minister Priti Patel said in a tweet.

Journalist Denise Hruby reports from Vienna, while CNN’s Sara Mazloumsaki reports from Atlanta and Laura Smith-Spark writes from London. CNN’s Nina Avramova, Frederik Pleitgen, Luke McGee and Sharon Braithwaite contributed to this report.


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