As per the reports, on Monday, multiple terrorists opened fire across central Vienna on Monday. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has described the attack as a “repulsive terrorist attack”. Two civilians and one attacker have been killed.
Shots fired at six locations
As per Vienna Police, at around 8 PM local time, several shots were fired at a busy street in the city center. The attack happened at six locations. Some videos were circulated on the social media platforms showing gunmen walking through the streets, but their authenticity could not be verified. The terrorists shot at random people, killing two and injuring several others. One police officer was also injured in the attack. One attacker was still at large, and the search operation is underway.
CONFIRMED at the moment:— POLIZEI WIEN (@LPDWien) November 2, 2020
*08:00 pm: several shots fired, beginning at Seitenstettengasse
*several suspects armed with rifles
*six different shooting locations
* one deceaced person, several injured (1 officer included)
*1 suspect shot and killed by police officers #0211w
‘Stay at home’ – Interior Minister Karl Nehammer
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer, in a statement, urged people to stay away from the center of the city. The officials informed that border checks were reinforced. Authorities announced that there would be no compulsory schooling on Tuesday and advised children to stay home. However, schools will remain open for those who do not wish to take leave.
Aufgrund der aktuellen Situation gibt es morgen in Wien keine Schulpflicht. Kinder können daher entschuldigt zu Hause bleiben. Für all jene, bei denen das nicht möglich ist, sind selbstverständlich die Schulen geöffnet. Bleibt sicher und vor allem auch gesund!— Stadt Wien (@Stadt_Wien) November 3, 2020
Michael Ludwig, Mayor of Vienna, issued a statement in which he said that a large-scale police operation is still underway. He further advised people to stay home, and if they are in the inner city, they should stay indoors. He was quoted by Austrian’s public broadcaster ORF saying that 15 people were hospitalized for treatment, and seven of them were seriously injured.
Auch die Rettungskräfte sind weiterhin im Einsatz.— Michael Ludwig (@BgmLudwig) November 2, 2020
Bleiben Sie bitte zuhause und bewahren Sie Ruhe. Wenn Sie sich im Bereich der inneren Stadt befinden, bleiben Sie in geschlossenen Räumen. /2 @Stadt_Wien @LPDWien
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the attackers were well equipped with automatic weapons. He said, “We are victims of a despicable terror attack in the federal capital that is still ongoing. One of the perpetrators was neutralized, but several perpetrators appear to still be on the loose.”
The attack happened close to the Synagogue
Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said on Twitter, “Whether the city temple was also the target of the attack can currently neither be confirmed nor ruled out.” The Synagogue was closed at the time of the attack as evening prayers had ended. “Based on the current risk assessment, we are all called upon to remain at home or in a lockable building. All synagogues, Jewish schools, and the institutions of the IKG, kosher restaurants, and supermarkets will remain closed tomorrow as a precaution,” he further added. Deutsch urged people to follow the instructions issued by the city Police.
London’s LBC radio quoted Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister, who lives in the compound of the synagogue. He said, “Upon hearing shots, we looked down (from) the windows and saw the gunmen shooting at the guests of the various bars and pubs.”
The motive of the attack is unclear
A partial lockdown was planned to control the spread of coronavirus. The attack happened just hours before it got imposed. The authorities did not release any information about the identity of the attackers. The motive of the attack is still unclear.
Reactions from world leaders
French President Emmaneul Macron said that people of France share the shock and sadness of the Austrians after an attack in Vienna. “After France, it is a friendly country that is under attack. This is our Europe. Our enemies need to know who they are dealing with. We won’t give in to anything,” he further added.
Wir, Franzosen, teilen den Schock und die Trauer von der Österreicher nach einer Angriff in Wien. Nach Frankreich ist es ein befreundetes Land, das angegriffen wird. Dies ist unser Europa. Unsere Feinde müssen wissen, mit wem sie es zu tun haben. Wir werden nichts nachgeben.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 2, 2020
White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said, “There is no justification for hatred and violence like this.”
“The U.S. is praying for the people of Vienna. There is no justification for hatred and violence like this. We stand with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorism.”-NSA Robert C. O’Brien— NSC (@WHNSC) November 3, 2020
Recent attacks in France
Several terror attacks took place in France in the last 30 days over the cartoon of Prophet Muhammed that was republished by the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. Samuel Paty, a teacher, was beheaded by an Islamist for showing the said cartoon in his class. Later, on 29th October, three people, including a woman, were reportedly beheaded at a Church in Nice, France. Islamist organisations and leaders of Islamic countries like Turkey and Pakistan, instead of condemning the terrorist attacks, are vocally criticising France for Macron’s statements against radical Islam and Islamic terrorism.