Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said the gunshots in Vienna are apparently a terrorist attack. “The attack is still ongoing,” said the minister on ORF Monday evening.
“We are in the midst of an apparent terrorist attack with a dynamic situation evolution,” said Nehammer. “We currently assume several perpetrators. Unfortunately there are also several injured, probably also dead. ”
The attackers are said to have used long guns, which speaks for a special danger. Major surgery is underway. Nehammer appealed to the population: whoever is at home must stay at home, whoever is in a pub must also stay there.
A suspected perpetrator has been arrested, Austrian news agency APA reported Monday evening, quoting the Ministry of the Interior. According to a spokeswoman for the ministry, a police officer was shot and seriously injured in the firefight at Schwedenplatz.
It has not yet been confirmed whether the nearby synagogue was the target of the attack, the spokeswoman said. The background was still unclear. Initially, it also remained open whether it concerned a single or more perpetrators.
“We are in action with all possible strength,” police wrote on Twitter. “Please avoid all public places in the city,” it said.
Many people in the area fled in panic.
Videos broadcast by private broadcaster “Oe24” on Monday evening showed a masked gunman firing at least two shots in the street. Another video showed a large pool of blood outside a restaurant.
The chairman of the Israeli Kultusgemeinde, Oskar Deutsch, wrote on Twitter that at the moment it cannot be said whether the city stamp was one of the targets. “What is certain is that both the synagogue in the Seitenstettengasse and the office building at the same address were no longer in use and were closed at the time of the first shots.”
“In any case, shots were fired in the immediate vicinity of the city stamp”, continued Deutsch. All members of the community were asked not to enter public streets and to remain in locked rooms until security authorities cleared everything. (with dpa)