Fifteen people were injured in a terrorist attack in the center of Vienna on Monday evening, the mayor told the Austrian news channel ORF . The police reported earlier that one person had died, later the mayor announced that a second person had died. One of the perpetrators was shot.
Shots were fired at six different places. The shootings took place in the immediate vicinity of a synagogue, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said.
Police say several people have been seriously injured, including a police officer. According to the mayor, a total of seven are seriously injured. Interior Minister Karl Nehammer reports that several people probably died in the attack.
According to Nehammer, several perpetrators were probably involved in the attack. One of them was shot by the police. A major police operation is still underway in the Austrian capital. The city center is largely closed off. Public transport in the relevant district has been shut down.
It is not clear whether the synagogue was a target. The place of worship was closed at the time of the shootings. Jewish citizens have been called upon by a Jewish organization not to go outside.
The local police are calling on citizens to stay indoors. In addition, it is requested not to share images of the attack on social media. “This puts both emergency services and civilians at risk,” police said.
Nehammer 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.
Prime Minister Kurtz: ‘Disgusting Act of Terror’
Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurtz has called the series of shooting incidents a “horrific act of terrorism”. Kurtz 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.
The prime minister said to the Austrian public broadcaster ORF that the threat is still unabated. “It is definitely a terrorist attack,” said Kurz, who does not rule out an anti-Semitic motive. “Whether it is possible to resume public life as normal tomorrow morning will depend strongly on the current night and whether the suspects will be caught or eliminated.”