Vienna shooting: Several people injured in suspected terror attack, Austrian interior minister says

Photo: Credit The Independent

By Vincent Wood

A large-scale police operation is ongoing in Vienna following gunfire at a synagogue in the Austrian capital, the city’s police said. Officers confirmed several people were injured, with armed police working to secure the streets of the city centre near the Danube river.

Interior minister Karl Nehammer said several people had been injured and probably killed in the incident. “At the moment I can confirm we believe this is an apparent terror attack,” he said adding that the ministry believed their may have been more than one perpetrator. The nation’s public broadcaster, ORF, cited witnesses saying several shots were fired shortly after 8pm (7pm GMT), with a reporter who cited police sources saying several people had died.

News agency APA said an officer had been shot and seriously injured, while the editor of Austria’s Falter newspaper said one person had died. Both cited the state’s interior ministry. Vienna’s police wrote on Twitter the exact circumstances behind the incident are yet to be determined.

The incident is reported to have taken place in the city’s Schwedenplatz plaza, near the Stadttempel synagogue, according to local media. Officers said public transport was not stopping in the city’s first district amid a heavy police presence.

European parliament member Guy Verhofstadt wrote on Twitter: “Shocking to see the news coming in from Vienna.Tough days and weeks ahead across the world. Stay safe. Stay calm. Be confident. Our values are much stronger than whatever eruption of violence or terror.”

Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said on Twitter that it was not clear whether the Vienna synagogue and adjoining offices had been the target, adding that they were closed at the time of the incident. However Newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported that an officer guarding the city’s central synagogue was among those injured.

The site, which is hidden from plain view, was the target of a terror attack in 1981 which saw two people die and 30 injured when a Bar Mitzvah ceremony was fired upon.

Source: The Independent