Vienna terrorist attack: several dead after shooting near synagogue in Austria

Vienna attacks
Vienna attacks

Latest: We have some more information from Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig about the second victim.

Ludwig told the broadcaster ORF that a woman wounded in an attack in central Vienna on Monday night has died of her injuries.

Her death brings the civilian toll to two. It is understood that at least one attacker has also died.

A reader named Lea R has written to us from Vienna’s second district, Leopoldstadt.

“I’m living in Karmeliterviertel, one of the largest Jewish communities (I myself am not Jewish). I am 22 and normally I’m every evening at Schwedenplatz/ Bermudadreieck and Donaukanal, being in one of the many Bars there ,” she writes.

“The Situation right now is really scary, my phone is ringing all the time because everyone is so worried. It’s heartbreaking to see my beloved hometown [like this].”

She says that the law firm where she works has told employees to work from home tomorrow. Her ex-boyfriend works for WEGA, the Austrian special forces (Wiener Einsatzgruppe Alarmabteilung) and, she says, “Currently I am worrying a lot about his well-being, as he is actively looking for the terrorists.”

A friend of hers is spending the night sleeping in her office. There is the “constant noise” of helicopters overhead, says Lea.

She signs off:

Greetings from Vienna, an undestructable city. We will rise stronger than ever! There is no place here for terrorism, neither left, right or from a religious point of view. There is a reason why everyone is saying “Wien ist anders [Vienna is different, a common slogan in the city]”.

VIENNA : Multiple gunmen opened fire at six locations in central Vienna near the central synagogue on Monday, killing at least two person and wounding 15 in what Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described as a “repulsive terrorist attack”.

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, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said. Residents were urged to stay indoors.

“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,” Nehammer told broadcaster ORF.

Kurz said the army would protect sites in the capital so the police could focus on anti-terror operations. Speaking to ORF, he said the attackers “were very well equipped with automatic weapons” and had “prepared professionally”.

Police said on Twitter that at least one person had been killed and that the injured included a police officer. Vienna mayor Michael Ludwig told ORF that 15 people were being treated in Vienna hospitals, and that seven were in a serious condition.

Police also said they had shot dead one of the attackers.

Nehammer said all six locations in the attack were in the immediate vicinity of the street housing the central synagogue.

Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said on Twitter it was not clear whether the Vienna synagogue and adjoining offices had been the target and said they were closed at the time.

Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister told London’s LBC radio he was living in the compound of the synagogue. “Upon hearing shots we looked down (from) the windows and saw the gunmen shooting at the guests of the various bars and pubs,” he said.

“The gunmen were running around and shooting at least 100 rounds or even more in front of our building,” he said.

Videos circulated on social media of a gunman running down a cobblestone street shooting and shouting.

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