There are “several” dead and more than a dozen injured after several armed men stormed the Austrian capital Vienna in an alleged terrorist attack.
“We are on site with all available resources. Please avoid all public places in the city, “said the police.
In their latest update, the police confirmed that “multiple perpetrators” with guns were behind the attack, there were six crime scenes in total and one attacker was shot dead by anti-terror officials. It is believed that other attackers are still “on the run”.
The situation is still developing as the police tell everyone in the city to keep their doors locked.
The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described the group of armed men as “professionally trained” and “prepared”.
Authorities have expanded their search for the shooters who are still at large.
“We have brought together several special units that are now looking for suspected terrorists,” said Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer to ORF.
“I am therefore not limiting myself to one area in Vienna because the perpetrators are mobile.”
Police also confirmed that there was at least one death and several people were seriously injured, including a police officer. The Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig confirmed that 15 people were in hospital because of the shooting, seven of them in serious condition.
In a video from news.com.au, a man in white with an assault rifle is seen approaching a man in black who is trapped in the street.
Although the black-clad man tries to shield his body in a window niche, the armed man shoots him and runs away.
The shooter returns a short time later and sees the man in black on the ground and shoots him again.
A number of police officers are then seen under video surveillance approaching the Man in Black and providing first aid.
Austria officially called the incident a terrorist attack.
Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a tweet that the police had “taken decisive action against the perpetrators of this repulsive terrorist attack”.
“I am glad that our police officers have already managed to eliminate a perpetrator. We will never be intimidated by terrorism and will fight these attacks with all means, “Kurz said in the translated tweet.
Mr. Kurz said the military was protecting property across the city so that the police could “focus fully on fighting terrorism”.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer also described the incident as a terrorist attack.
“At the moment I can confirm that we believe that this is an obvious terrorist attack,” he told the Austrian ORF.
“We believe there are multiple perpetrators. Unfortunately, there are also several injured, probably also dead. ”
The first shots were fired shortly before 8 p.m. local time, with the police operation lasting more than three hours.
Shots were reported near Schwedenplatz, one of the main squares of the Austrian capital.
Local media reports that explosives were involved in the attack.
Dozens of police officers were filmed as they ran across town to find more active shooters with heavy rifle fire.
One video shows police officers in protective clothing rushing through local restaurants while patrons lie flat on the ground looking for potential shooters.
Austria will be blocked again on Tuesday due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
Because of this, on Monday night Vienna was full of people trying to enjoy their last night of freedom when filming began.
Vienna’s chief rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister saw a few shots from his building, with armed men aiming at people sitting outside.
“They shot at least 100 rounds right in front of our building,” Hofmeister told the British radio station LBC.
“All of these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown … From midnight all bars and restaurants in Austria will be closed for the next month and many people probably wanted to use this evening to be able to leave. ”
Video footage of a Viennese local showed a pool of blood in front of a café in the city’s main Jewish center.
Everyone was ordered to stay indoors, particularly in the city’s Jewish community, after reports that a synagogue, several restaurants and a Jewish community center were targeted.
A man dressed in white with an assault rifle was also filmed firing his gun at someone.
Oskar Deutsch, head of the Jewish community in Vienna, said the synagogue was closed at the beginning of the shooting, but shots were fired “in the immediate vicinity”.
Ambulances rushed downtown to take the victims of the shooting to hospital.
Austria has been spared the large-scale attacks in Paris, Berlin and London in recent years.
In August, the authorities arrested a 31-year-old Syrian refugee who is suspected of attacking a Jewish community leader in the country’s second largest city, Graz. The leader was unharmed.
Tensions in Europe have been high recently after French teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded, who showed his class a cartoon of Muhammad.
Three people were killed in a terrorist attack outside the city’s Notre Dame basilica last week in Nice, southern France.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his support for Austria, saying his nation “shares the shock and grief of the Austrian people”.
“It is a friendly country that is under attack. This is our Europe. Our enemies need to know who they are dealing with. We’re not going to give in, ”Macron said in the translated tweet.
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