PM Modi tweeted, Deeply shocked and saddened by the dastardly terror attacks in Vienna. India stands with Austria during this tragic time. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.
@vonderleyen·I am shocked and saddened by the brutal attack that took place in Vienna. My thoughts are with the families of the victims and the Austrian people. Europe stands in full solidarity with Austria. We are stronger than hatred and terror.
Vienna’s police repeatedly urged residents to shelter in place as the manhunt got underway, with helicopters hovering the skies above the city and officers hastily erecting cordons on streets that only hours earlier were thronged with people enjoying a last drink before lockdown.
Just reports trickled, four terrorists have surrendered after attacking simultaneous attack were made at 6 sites at once throughout Vienna. One suspect shot dead. Others were on run.
Gunmen armed with rifles opened fire in six different locations in central Vienna on the city’s final night before coronavirus lockdown on Monday.
At least two people have died and several more have been injured in what the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called a “repulsive terror attack” and said one gunman was also killed.
A huge manhunt was underway for multiple attackers armed with rifles following the horrific shootings, with the first near the synagogue reported at 8 pm local time.
Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch tweeted that the synagogue was closed at the time the attack began.
Police said the incident began near the Seitenstettengasse synagogue around 8 p.m. local time. It’s unclear if the synagogue was a target of the violence. Police urged residents to keep away from the area and to avoid using public transit, saying shots were fired in the busy Inner City district.
Security beefed up in public places. Heavily armed police stand near Schwedenplatz square in the city center following reports of shots fired nearby in Vienna, Austria.
As of 2 am in Vienna, one terrorist remains at large with police cordons in place throughout the city and strict border checks. Children in the city will not be required to attend school on Tuesday.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told Austrian broadcaster ORF: “It appears to have been a terror attack.”
He added that the perpetrators were ‘heavily armed and dangerous’ and the army had been asked to guard key locations in the city to allow police officers to pursue the attackers.
“We have brought several special forces units together that are now searching for the presumed terrorists. I am therefore not limiting it to an area of Vienna because these are mobile perpetrators,” Nehammer said, urging the public to stay indoors until the all-clear is given.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said: “It is of course a very tense security situation, especially in the federal capital Vienna. While we pursue them, they are very well equipped. So automatic weapons, very professionally prepared. It is definitely a terrorist attack.
“There are now 15 victims who are wounded and are currently being treated in the hospitals. There is a policeman who was shot – thank God, not in mortal danger. The situation is still relatively confusing.
“We can’t really say anything about the background (to the attack). An anti-Semitic background cannot of course be ruled out, especially because of the location where this terrorist attack started.
“What we know for sure is that there are several suspects, one of whom has so far been eliminated, but some information is still on its way and the danger has therefore not yet been completely averted.”
Vienna had until now been spared the sort of major attacks that have hit other European countries, with France experiencing two terror attacks only last month.
“We are dealing with a terror attack the severity of which, thank God, we have not experienced in Austria in many years,” the city’s mayor Michael Ludwig said at press conference early Tuesday.
“At the beginning, I thought to myself that maybe we were making an American film or that they had drunk too much,” said waiter Jimmy Eroglu, 42.
But then he heard shots. “The police came in and said, ‘you all have to stay inside because there’s a probably a dead man there’.”