Vienna Shooting: Condolences pours in from around the world
After a series of attacks in France and all over Europe, Austria has also been hit by ‘Islamist terrorists‘. Around 8 PM on Monday, several gunmen opened fire at six locations across Central Vienna. Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said on Tuesday that the shootings took place near Vienna’s Seitenstettengasse synagogue killing three people, two men and a woman, and injuring several others. Broadcaster ORF later reported that there was another casualty, a woman, in this terrible attack.
The shootings happened in a busy part of the city where many people were out enjoying bars and restaurants before a nationwide curfew took effect because of COVID-19. Austria imposed new national restrictions to flatten the rise of coronavirus cases and due to which all bars and restaurants are closed until the end of November.
The special forces quickly arrived at the scene to take down the perpetrators. According to Vienna’s police chief, only one known attacker was shot dead by police. During the stand-off, one policeman was shot before other officers shot the perpetrator. The police found an automatic rifle, a pistol, and a machete on the gunman they shot. It is not yet clear how many attackers were involved in the shooting but it is assumed that at least one of the gunmen was still at large and is to be considered ‘heavily armed and dangerous. But citing the interior ministry, the Austrian media said that one person had been arrested for this crime.
It is not clear what was their intended target as the Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch tweeted that the synagogue was closed during the attacks.
Speaking upon the event that transpired, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tweeted, “We are currently going through difficult times in our republic. I would like to thank all the emergency services who are risking their lives for our safety, especially today. Our police will take decisive action against the perpetrators of this hideous terrorist attack.”
Karl Nehammer said in a News Conference, “It’s the hardest day for Austria in many years. We’re dealing with a terror attack the severity of which, thank God, we’ve not experienced in Austria in many years.”
Leaders from all over the world are condemning the shooting and have expressed their condolences over this terrible shooting. With French President Emmanuel Macron saying, “We the French people share the shock and grief of the Austrian people, struck this evening by an attack in the heart of their capital, Vienna. After France, a friend of ours is attacked. This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply shocked by the terrible attacks”.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and with the Austrian government in dealing with this heinous act,” Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands wrote on Twitter. U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet that “our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe.”
“Deeply shocked and saddened by the dastardly terror attacks in Vienna. India stands with Austria in this tragic time. My thoughts are with the victims and their families,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also conveyed his condolences over the terror attacks in Vienna.
As a precaution, authorities have urged residents to stay away from the city center and to not use public transport. Officials said schools would be closed on Tuesday. The Czech police are also conducting border checks as a preventive measure in relation to the terror attack in Vienna.