- attacker is an ISIS sympathizer, says police
- French shares the shock – President Emmanuel Macron
- Islamic Terrorism a “common enemy”, says Angela Merkel
- India Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses shock and sadness
Vienna in Austria has witnessed violence after an ISIS sympathizer unleashed terror in the city.
Two men and a woman have been killed in the terror attack while 15 have been reported injured – seven victims in serious condition, including a police officer.
The suspect who is believed to be an ISIS sympathizer and shot dead by the police was harmed with riffle and wore a fake suicide vest.
It is believed that he didn’t act alone as one other attacker may still be roaming the street of Vienna.
The country interior Minister Karl Nehammer says the suspect is an ISIS sympathizer and assured that the government have activated an operation to track other suspects of the group.
The Minister said special forces from neighbouring countries were assisting in the operation and that the police have searched the suspect’s home and have found a video material.
Arrests have been reportedly made in connection to the violence, according to APA news agency.
Mr Nehemmer told journalists that “We experienced an attack yesterday evening from at least one Islamist terrorist,” while urging the residents to remain at home.
The first gunshot was fired at about 8 pm local time at the Seitenstettengasse synagogue and 15 people have been reported to have been injured.
The injured, among which are very serious, are currently scattered across hospitals in the city where they are receiving treatment.
An eyewitness Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister quoted by Skynews said he saw at least one person sitting outside bars below his window get shot by the shooter.
Mr Hofmeister reportedly said that the gunmen shot at least 100 rounds “outside our building”
“All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown,” he added.
He continued, “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.”
Another witness, Eveline who is also a student reportedly said they didn’t know what it was initially but “suddenly people, who were sitting in other guests’ gardens, started to run.
Eveline said they started to run when they heard a second shot but this time, closer, but didn’t know they were running “in the right direction, we ran into a hotel and hide there.”
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was glad that “our police were able to neutralize one of the attackers”.
He said Austrians will never allow themselves to be intimidated by terrorists and vowed to fight the attackers with any means necessary.
The Chancellor described the moment as “difficult hours for our republic” and assured that the police was capable of dealing with the culprits the “despicable terror attack.”
President Emmanuel Macron tweeted in solidarity with Austrians. He said 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.”
France has been targets of Muslim extremists in recent weeks.
The head of the Jewish community in Vienna Oskar Deutsch, according to a local report, said the shooting started in the city’s main synagogue street but, there are no clear reports whether the synagogue itself was the target which was closed at the time of the shootings.
Police have advised residents to go about but urged them to avoid open spaces and public transport.
Footage on social media shows crowds fleeing and another video that surfaced online shows policemen patrolling the street.
The police, according to the BBC, is trailing through over 20,000 videos obtained from residents to ascertain if there was more than one assailant involved.
Police had said shootings took place in six different locations across Vienna’s 1st district near the Danube Canal.
But on Tuesday morning, the police still aren’t certain how many attackers were involved.
“At the moment we think there’s more, we’re investigating,” Vienna police chief Gerhard Pürstl said.
“It’s difficult to say for sure if it was one or several attackers. Lots of witnesses are injured, traumatised, and we have to analyse the data.
“This will take some time … at this stage, there is no definite answer.”
Border checks have been increased to neighbouring countries:
Later, Austrian broadcaster ORF reports that the police have arrested several people in connection to the attack.
According to a Reuters report, German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Islamist Terrorism as a “common enemy”.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “shocked” and “saddened” by the “dastardly terror attack” in Vienna.
The Minister said in a tweet on Tuesday morning that “India stands with Austria during this tragic time. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also joined other world leaders to express shock over the attack in Vienna.
In a tweet last night, Mr Johnson said “I am deeply shocked by the terrible attacks in Vienna tonight. The UK’s thoughts are with the people of Austria – we stand united with you against terror.”