Vienna, SAEDNEWS, Nov. 3: Police in Austria have launched a manhunt after gunmen opened fire at multiple locations across central Vienna, killing at least four people and wounding several more in what Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described as a “repulsive terror attack”. One of the suspected gunmen, identified as an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group sympathiser, was shot dead by police who said they were searching for at least one more assailant still at large.
Fifteen people were injured in the attack in the center of the capital, among them a police officer, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said on Tuesday. The attacks, in six locations including near a synagogue in the centre of the city, were carried out by “several suspects armed with rifles”, police said on Monday night. Authorities are still trying to determine whether further attackers may be on the run.
“It sounded like firecrackers, then we realised it was shots,” said one eyewitness quoted by ORF.
A shooter had “shot wildly with an automatic weapon” before police arrived and opened fire, the witness added.
The Interior Minister Nehammer repeated calls for the public to stay at home on Tuesday in an early morning televised news conference. He called the incident an attack on Austria’s values and democratic society. “The attacker sympathised with the militant terrorist group IS,” he said referring to ISIS. The interior minister however, declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.
Earlier, Mayor Michael Ludwig told public broadcaster ORF that one person was killed at the scene of the shootings, and a second person – the woman who was wounded during the attack – died of her injuries in the early hours of Tuesday.
The attack began at about 8pm (19:00 GMT) on Monday, when several men armed with rifles opened fire – starting outside the city’s main synagogue – as many people took advantage of the last evening before a nationwide curfew took effect because of COVID-19.
Officials said schools would be closed on Tuesday (Source: AlJazeera).