The terror attack on Monday evening in Vienna claimed the lives of at least two civilians, at least 15 people were injured. One of the perpetrators was shot by the police, at least one perpetrator is still a fugitive.
Shots started at synagogue in popular entertainment district
According to the Viennese mayor Michael Ludwig, the murdered suspect was armed with a hand gun and a machete in addition to a rifle. According to Ludwig, the murdered perpetrator was “very well prepared”. The police are still investigating the identity of the man.
The man was probably not wearing a real bomb belt that was previously mentioned, but a fake one. This is currently being investigated.
Police soon reported that one person had died. Ludwig later told Austrian public broadcaster ORF that a woman in hospital died of her injuries. At least 15 injured people are being treated in hospital, including an officer who is no longer in danger of death.
Shots were shot at six different locations in Vienna’s old town. The shootings began around 8 p.m. in the immediate vicinity of a synagogue, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said.
Nothing is yet known about the motive of the perpetrators. It is not clear whether the synagogue was a target. The building that was closed during the attack is located in a popular entertainment district in the Austrian capital with many cafes and restaurants. It was busy Monday evening, because from Tuesday there is a curfew throughout Austria to combat the outbreak of the corona virus. Many people made use of their freedom for a while and sat on the many terraces in the balmy evening weather.
At least one offender is still on the run, according to Interior Minister Karl Nehammer. He warned late Monday night that a manhunt is underway for several alleged perpetrators, who are “heavily armed and dangerous”. “We have brought together several special forces who are now looking for the suspected terrorists,” said Nehammer.
The minister hinted that the perpetrators may have fled the capital and that they are “mobile”. He insisted to stay indoors until the authorities signal that the streets are safe again.
Austria immediately reinforced border surveillance. The Czech police have also decided to switch to additional border controls. The Czech authorities have also decided to give extra security to Jewish institutions.
Nehammer called for avoiding the center of Vienna for the time being. The city center is largely closed off. Public transport in the relevant district has been shut down. He also said that children do not have to go to school on Tuesday.
Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz has called the series of shooting incidents that took place in Vienna on Monday evening a “disgusting act of terrorism”. Kurz also reported via his Twitter account that the army is taking over the surveillance of some places in the Austrian capital, so that the police can fully focus on the manhunt for the fugitive perpetrators.