Five people died, including one attacker, and 17 others were injured in a shooting in central Vienna a few hours before the start of the coronavirus lock, Austrian authorities said Tuesday. The attacker was killed in a 20-year-old man with dual Austro-North Macedonian nationality, who had a criminal record.
Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz said two men and two women had died from injuries in the attack on Monday night. Suspected attackers were shot dead by police.
The Austrian APA news agency said seven people were in life-threatening condition on Tuesday after the attack. In total, 17 people are being treated at the hospital, with gunshot wounds but also cuts.
“It is now confirmed that yesterday̵7;s attack was clearly a terrorist attack by the Islamist forces,” Kurz said. equal rights and dignity. “
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Interior Minister Karl Nehammer then told the APA that the attacker was dead, who was originally from the Balkan state in North Macedonia, having a criminal record under the law that punishes membership of terrorist organizations.
The attacker, named Kujtim Fejzulai, was sentenced to 22 months in prison in April 2019 because he tried to go to Syria to join the Islamic State group. He was released early in December under the juvenile law.
He added, 15 home searches have taken place and some people have been arrested. The attacker, he said, was “armed with a fake explosive vest and automatic rifle, a handgun and a machete to carry out a disgusting assault on innocent citizens. . “
Authorities are still trying to determine whether the next attackers may be on the run. Residents of Vienna are encouraged to stay home if possible on Tuesdays and the kids don’t have to go to school. About 1,000 policemen were on duty in Vienna on Tuesday morning.
Among those wounded in the attack was a police officer, Nehammer said. The 28-year-old officer is already in the hospital but is no longer in danger of his life.
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The shooting started just after 8pm (1900 GMT) Monday near Vienna’s main synagogue as many people were enjoying a last night of restaurants and bars opening before a lengthy coronavirus lock. month, starting at midnight.
Vienna Sheriff Gerhard Puerstl said the attacker was killed at 8:09 pm
Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz said that “we were the victims of a vile terrorist attack in the federal capital.”
His government on Tuesday ordered a three-day official national mourning, with flags on public buildings to be hung at half-staff levels by Thursday, the APA reported. A minute of silence will be held on Tuesday afternoon.
Unconfirmed footage posted on social media shows a gunman walking across the street, seemingly shooting at random, injuring many people. It is not clear if the person viewed is the same person in each video.
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said he had seen at least one person shoot at people sitting outside a street bar below a window near the city’s main synagogue.
“They fired at least 100 bullets just outside our building,” said Hofmeister. “All of these bars have outside tables. Tonight is the last one before locking the door ”.
Residents uploaded 20,000 videos of the attack to police, authorities said.
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The attack drew rapid condemnation and ensured support from leaders across Europe, including French President Emmanuel Macron, who underwent three attacks by Islamic forces in in recent weeks and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Islamic terrorism is our common enemy,” Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted. “The war against these murderers and their masterminds is our joint war.”
US President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday night as he prepared for the final rally ahead of Election Day: “Our prayers for the people of Vienna after another act of vile terror in Europe.”
“Evil attacks against innocent people must be stopped,” Trump added. “The United States side by side with Austria, France and all of Europe in the war against terrorists, including radical Muslim terrorists.”
Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the world’s leading Sunni Muslim religious organization, condemned “terrorist attacks” in Vienna. It calls for international institutions to “unite” against terrorism and to reject violence and hatred.
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The Austrian army provided 75 soldiers to guard key locations in Vienna, freeing the police for further investigation.