Gunmen opened fire on individuals having fun with a final evening out at Vienna’s cafes and eating places earlier than a coronavirus lockdown Monday in what authorities mentioned was a terrorist assault that left at least two lifeless — together with one of many assailants — and 15 wounded.
“We are victims of a despicable terror attack in the federal capital that is still ongoing,” Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz mentioned hours after the gunfire erupted.
“One of the perpetrators was neutralized, but several perpetrators appear to still be on the loose,” he mentioned. “They seem to also, as far as we know, be very well equipped, with automatic weapons. So they were very well prepared.”
Police mentioned that a number of pictures have been fired shortly after eight p.m. (1900 GMT) on a energetic avenue in the town middle and that there have been six capturing locations. Unverified footage on social media confirmed gunmen strolling via the streets, apparently capturing at individuals at random, wounding a number of.
The motive was beneath investigation, however Kurz mentioned the likelihood it was an anti-Semitic assault can’t be dominated out, provided that the capturing started outdoors Vienna’s important synagogue. It was closed at the time.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer mentioned the military had been requested to protect key locations in the town as a whole lot of closely armed police hunted for the gunmen. He urged individuals in Vienna to remain indoors and keep away from the town middle and inspired dad and mom to not ship their youngsters to high school on Tuesday.
Kurz praised police for killing one of many attackers and vowed: “We will not never allow ourselves to be intimidated by terrorism and will fight these attacks with all means.”
Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig mentioned 15 individuals have been hospitalized, seven with severe accidents.
Oskar Deutsch, the pinnacle of the Jewish neighborhood in Vienna, mentioned it was not clear whether or not the principle synagogue had been focused.
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister mentioned he noticed at least one particular person shoot at individuals sitting outdoors at bars in the road beneath his window.
“They were shooting at least 100 rounds just outside our building,” Hofmeister mentioned.
“All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown,” he added. “As of midnight, all bars and restaurants will be closed in Austria for the next month, and a lot of people probably wanted to use that evening to be able to go out.”
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the French “share the shock and grief of the Austrian people hit by an attack tonight.”
“After France, this is a friendly country that has been attacked. This is our Europe. … We will not give in,” he wrote.
France has endured three assaults blamed on Muslim extremists in latest weeks: the wounding of two individuals outdoors satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s previous headquarters; the beheading of a schoolteacher who confirmed college students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad; and a lethal knife assault Thursday in a church in the Mediterranean metropolis of Nice.
All of the assaults have been strongly condemned at the time by Austria’s chancellor.