A massive search operation has been launched for other attackers, with at least 1,000 police officers fanning out across the city, a police spokesman said.Two people were arrested near Vienna on Tuesday, according to APA, as police hunted accomplices of the gunman or gunmen..
In an early morning televised news conference, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer repeated calls for the public to stay off the streets.
Nehammer said police had shot dead one attacker, a man wearing an explosives belt that turned out to be fake, whom authorities have identified as an Islamic State sympathizer.The terrorist who was shot dead by security forces was known to intelligence services. He had shown interest in traveling to Syria in the past and was prevented from doing so in July, according to Austrian newspaper Falter.
"We experienced an attack yesterday evening by at least one Islamist terrorist, a situation that we have not had to live through in Austria for decades," Nehammer said.
"Austria for more than 75 years has been a strong democracy, a mature democracy, a country whose identity is marked by values and basic rights, with freedom of expression and rule of law, but also tolerance in human coexistence," he said. "Yesterday's attack is an attack on just these values."
THE ASSAILANT killed by police, and other potential gunmen, attacked six locations in central Vienna on Monday evening, starting outside the main synagogue. Witnesses described the men firing into crowds in bars with automatic rifles, as many people took advantage of the last evening before a nationwide curfew was introduced because of COVID-19.The gunman shot dead in the Vienna attacks on Monday was a 20-year-old born and raised in the city who was known to domestic intelligence because he was one of 90 Austrian Islamists who wanted to travel to Syria, a newspaper editor said on Tuesday.Kurtin S. had "Albanian roots" but his parents were originally from North Macedonia, the editor of the weekly Falter newspaper Florian Klenk said on Twitter, without giving details of the source for that information. Police thought he was not capable of planning an attack in Vienna, Klenk added.
Police confirmed on Tuesday that three civilians - two men and a woman - were killed in the attacks with at least 15 others wounded, including a police officer. Broadcaster ORF later said a fourth civilian, a woman, had died.
Nehammer said video material had been seized from the home of the known assailant during a search and police were investigating his potential connections.
News agency APA reported that multiple homes had been searched and arrests made, citing the Interior Ministry. A ministry spokesperson was not immediately available for comment on the APA report.
Vienna's police chief declined to provide further details on the attacker's identity, citing potential endangerment of the investigation.
Police sealed off much of the historic center of the city overnight, urging the public to shelter in place. Many sought refuge in bars and hotels, while public transport throughout the old town was shut down and police scoured the city.Videos circulated on social media of a gunman running down a cobblestone street shooting and shouting. One showed a man gunning down a person outside what appeared to be a bar on the street housing the synagogue.
According to Rabbi Jacob Biderman, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Austria, all of the city’s synagogues have been accounted for with no known injuries or loss of life in the Jewish community.
Still active: Stay at home! If you're on the Streets, take shelter! Keep away from public places, don't use public Transportation! #0211w— POLIZEI WIEN (@LPDWien) November 2, 2020
Several "heavily armed and dangerous" attackers were still on the loose as police shut down and sealed off large parts of central Vienna in a manhunt, Nehammer said in local media interviews. "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."
Wir erleben gerade schwere Stunden in unserer Republik. Ich möchte allen Einsatzkräften danken, die insbesondere heute für unsere Sicherheit ihr Leben riskieren. Unsere Polizei wird entschlossen gegen die Täter dieses widerwärtigen Terroranschlags vorgehen.— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) November 2, 2020
Auch die Rettungskräfte sind weiterhin im Einsatz. 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— Michael Ludwig (@BgmLudwig) November 2, 2020
Nous, Français, partageons le choc et la peine du peuple autrichien frappé ce soir par un attentat au cœur de sa capitale, Vienne. Après la France, c’est un pays ami qui est attaqué. C’est notre Europe. Nos ennemis doivent savoir à qui ils ont affaire. Nous ne céderons rien.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 2, 2020
I am deeply shocked by the terrible attacks in Vienna tonight. The UK’s thoughts are with the people of Austria - we stand united with you against terror.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 2, 2020
I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks in Vienna tonight, one of them close to a synagogue. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. We must all stand united against attacks on our open society.— SwedishPM (@SwedishPM) November 2, 2020
I am shocked and moved by the terrible news about tonight’s attacks in Vienna.A cowardly act of violence and hate.My thoughts go to the victims and their families and the citizens of #Vienna. We stand by your side.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) November 2, 2020
HAPPENING NOW - Terror alert in Vienna: Attack on a synagogue. Shots fired. Massive police operation underway. This is a developing story.pic.twitter.com/bUirWB0K7E— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 2, 2020