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Vienna terror attack: At least three dead and 14 injured in shootings across Austrian capital

Three people are dead and at least one gunman is being hunted after a
terror attack at six locations in Vienna.

Police in the Austrian capital said the attack was carried out by several suspects armed with rifles, and that one was shot dead by officers.

Gunmen opened fire on people enjoying a last evening out before a coronavirus lockdown Monday, authorities said.

Three people are confirmed dead – including the suspect killed by police – and 14 wounded.

The mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig, said the latest victim was a woman wounded in the attack who had subsequently died from her injuries.

Live updates on Vienna terror attack

Vienna terror attack: At least three dead and 14 injured in shootings across Austrian capital

Vienna terror attack: At least three dead and 14 injured in shootings across Austrian capital

Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said police had killed one attacker but at least one suspect was still on the loose in Vienna.

He urged the public to avoid the centre of the city and said children could stay home from school in the morning.

He added that border checks were being stepped up.

Mr Nehammer said: “Our special police units have succeeded in taking out a heavily armed terrorist equipped with an automatic assault rifle and, according to our current state of knowledge, at least one perpetrator is still on the run.”

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Vienna terror attack: At least three dead and 14 injured in shootings across Austrian capital

The shootings took place across six locations in Vienna, according to authorities, with the first gunshots heard at 8pm local time at the Seitenstettengasse synagogue.

The 14 people who were hurt in the attack are in hospital, seven of them seriously injured, a reporter for ORF-TV said.

Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said he saw at least one person shoot at people sitting outside bars below his window.

Mr Hofmeister said: “They were shooting at least 100 rounds just outside our building.

“All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown,” he added.

“As of midnight, all bars and restaurants will be closed in Austria for the next month, and a lot of people probably wanted to use that evening to be able to go out.”

Eveline, a witness and student, said: “First we did not know what it was, but suddenly people, who were sitting in other guests’ gardens, started to run.

“First we kept standing there because we did not know what was going on, then there was shooting again, but closer, so we started to run away. Because we did not know if we were running in the right direction, we ran into a hotel and hid there.”

Vienna terror attack: At least three dead and 14 injured in shootings across Austrian capital

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said: “I am glad that our police were able to neutralise one of the attackers.

“We will not never allow ourselves to be intimidated by terrorism and will fight these attacks with all means.”

Mr Kurz said these were “difficult hours for our republic” and vowed: “Our police will act decisively against the culprits of this despicable terror attack.”

Vienna terror attack: At least three dead and 14 injured in shootings across Austrian capital

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Vienna terror attack: At least three dead and 14 injured in shootings across Austrian capital

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the French “share the shock and grief of the Austrian people hit by an attack tonight”.

He wrote: “After France, this is a friendly country that has been attacked. This is our Europe … We will not give in.”

France has endured three attacks blamed on Muslim extremists in recent weeks.

Local media in Austria reported earlier that a synagogue had been attacked and shots fired in the area of a nearby square, Schwedenplatz, while there were unconfirmed reports of coordinated attacks nearby.

Oskar Deutsch, the head of the Jewish community in Vienna, said shootings took place in the street where the city’s main synagogue is located – but that it wasn’t clear whether the house of worship had been targeted.

Mr Deutsch tweeted that the synagogue was closed at the time of the shootings.

Vienna terror attack: At least three dead and 14 injured in shootings across Austrian capital

Officers said the operation in the city centre was ongoing and urged people to avoid open spaces and public transport, and footage posted online showed crowds fleeing.

In other videos uploaded to social media, armed officers were seen patrolling the streets and gunfire could be heard in one clip recorded from a window above a McDonald’s restaurant.

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