Vienna Police have said that several gunmen armed with assault rifles have started shooting fire at different locations, killing as many as three people and wounding several others. Meanwhile, the Austrian chancellor described it as a “repulsive attack” and added that security forces had killed one gunman.
Furthermore, the interior minister said that people were currently searching for at least one gunman who was still at large. The unfortunate shooting took place near the central synagogue in Vienna; however, it remains unclear whether it was the target of the armed attackers.
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Officials stated that the attack left a dozen people wounded, and two men and a woman were killed. Moreover, the unfortunate attack came hours after the authorities imposed new coronavirus restrictions nationwide in a bid to curb the rising infections. Until the end of November, many people were outdoors enjoying restaurants and bars, which have now been closed.
According to the local police authorities, the attack began on Monday near Vienna’s Seitenstettengasse synagogue, when gunmen opened fire on several people outside restaurants and cafes. The special forces responded quickly and arrived at the scene within a few minutes.
Before the officers shot the armed attacker, one policeman suffered a gunshot. Local media reported that one police officer who was guarding the synagogue was wounded. The local Jewish community leader took to Twitter and said that the synagogue was closed when the attack began. Karl Nehammer, the Austrian Interior Minister, stated that the gunman was still at large and heavily armed, adding that the students in the city would not be expected to attend their schools on Tuesday.
But it was not immediately clear how many gunmen took part in the incident, and the interior ministry maintained that one person had been arrested so far. The footage circulating on social media showed that many people were running through streets as gunshots were fired.
Soon after the attack, roadblocks were set around the city, and the security agencies conducted a major anti-terror operation. Police urged the residents to avoid the area and using public transport. The neighboring Czech Republic stated that the police are carrying out random searches and checks on the border with Austria amid fears that the attackers might head in their direction.
Additionally, British Premier Boris Johnson strongly condemned the attack and said that he was deeply shocked by the “terror attack.” Besides that, many other leaders in the region condemned the attack, including the Dutch Premier Mark Rutte, EU President, and the French President Emmanuel Macron, who maintained that the European nations must not give up in the face of recent attacks.
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