Shots were fired near a synagogue in central Vienna Monday night in what Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer described as “an apparent terror attack.”
Speaking to Austrian media, Nehammer said there were “probably also fatalities” as well as several people injured. He was quoted as saying that authorities currently believe there were multiple suspects involved.
Police said there were several suspects armed with rifles involved in the shooting, which began at about 8 p.m. at six different locations. One person was killed and several others were seriously injured, including one police officer. One of the suspects was shot and killed by police.
Viennese police on Twitter warned locals to stay away from public places and public transport.
The head of the Jewish Community of Vienna, Oskar Deutsch, said it was unclear if the synagogue was the target as the temple and its offices were closed at the time of the shooting. Nevertheless, he added that all community members were advised to remain indoors until getting the all-clear from authorities.
Police also warned people not to spread rumors online or share videos of the events on social media as it could endanger their ongoing operation.
French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country is still reeling after recent deadly attacks at a church and against a teacher, tweeted in German that “We, French people, share in the shock and sorrow of Austrians after an attack in Vienna. After France, another friendly country has been attacked. This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with. We will not give up.”
European Council President Charles Michel tweeted support for Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and said that “Europe strongly condemns this cowardly act that violates life and our human values. My thoughts are with the victims and the people of #Vienna in the wake of tonight’s horrific attack.”
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described the attack on Twitter as a “cowardly act of violence and hate.”
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