Vienna police confirmed in a tweet that a mass attack was being carried out across the city. After news of the attack broke, the government of Czechia, a country bordering Austria, announced that it was initiating controls at its borders.
CONFIRMED at the moment:
*08:00 pm: several shots fired, beginning at Seitenstettengasse
*several suspects armed with rifles
*six different shooting locations
* one deceaced person, several injured (1 officer included)
*1 suspect shot and killed by police officers #0211w
“This is the most difficult day for Austria in many years,” said Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) at a press conference in the wake of the terrorist attack in the capital of Austria, Vienna. “We have several injured, several dead, and the special forces have succeeded in eliminating a heavily armed terrorist,” said the minister.
Nehammer once again appealed to the Viennese in particular to stay at home. Given the situation, Vienna mayor Michael Ludwig agreed to suspend compulsory schooling on Tuesday.
Ludwig said 15 people were injured including 7 in a serious condition. According to the latest information, at least four civilians were killed and one perpetrator was shot. According to Austrian Interior Minister, quoted by Austrian media Der Standard, several “heavily armed and dangerous” attackers were currently on the run.
The large-scale deployment of security forces continued into the night. Some 150 Cobra and 100 WEGA officers were deployed, plus several hundred patrolmen and plainclothes officers. The general director for public security, Franz Ruf, said that security would be ensured.
The assassin who was shot was an ISIS terrorist, according to Nehammer. The man carried a dummy explosives belt and was armed with an automatic assault rifle, a pistol and a machete. Nothing was announced about the origin of the terrorist for “tactical reasons”. Police President Gerhard Pürstl refused to provide any information, but initially announced that there were three fatalities (two men, one woman). The woman is said to be a waitress who was shot while she was working.
According to the APA news agency, the act took place near the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien (IKG) and its synagogue in the first district. A police officer guarding the synagogue is said to have been shot and seriously injured. Several media reported that he died from his injuries.
But Jewish rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister contradicted the APA report: He told Kronen Zeitung that in his view, there was not an attack on the synagogue. “Let’s wait and see what the investigation reveals, but what I saw, the attacker(s) targeted the people in front of bars and then shot them inside the bars.”
The identity of the attacker is now known, Austrian sources indicated and his apartment was blown up. The question of whether a detonation perceived by several witnesses in the night in the Simmering district was the sound of the detonation, was not answered in the negative at a recent press conference.
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