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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Vienna terror attacks HIGHLIGHTS: Islamic State claims responsibility, say reports

Vienna terror attacks HIGHLIGHTS: Interior Minister Karl Nehammer warned people to stay away from the centre of the city, adding that border checks were being reinforced and that children would not be required to attend school on Tuesday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 4, 2020 1:01:06 am
Police blocks a street near Schwedenplatz square after a shooting in Vienna, Austria November 2, 2020. (Reuters)

Vienna terror attacks HIGHLIGHTS: The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Vienna attack that left at least five people killed – including an assailant – and 15 others injured after multiple gunmen opened fire across Austria’s capital city Monday. Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said that initial investigations indicate the suspect who was killed sympathised with the Islamic State. At least 14 other suspects have been arrested by the police.

Reacting to the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the dastardly terror attacks and asserted that India stands with Austria during this tragic time. “Deeply shocked and saddened by the dastardly terror attacks in Vienna,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted. “India stands with Austria during this tragic time. My thoughts are with the victims and their families,” he added.

The shooting began shortly after 8 pm GMT Monday near Vienna’s main synagogue a day before the start of a month-long coronavirus lockdown. 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.

French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has experienced three Islamist attacks in recent weeks, said, “This is our Europe. Our enemies must know with whom they are dealing. We will not retreat.” US President Donald Trump tweeted, “Our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe.”

Live Blog

At least 5 people have been reportedly killed in a terrorist attack in Vienna. Follow HIGHLIGHTS here.

23:22 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Islamic State claims responsibility for Vienna attack that left five people dead, 15 injured

The Islamic State group claimed responsbility for the Vienna attack that claimed the lives of five people, according to Reuters.

23:16 (IST)03 Nov 2020
UK raises terror threat level to severe after Europe attacks

Britain has raised its terror threat level to severe, its second-highest level, following recent attacks in Austria and France. The threat level of severe is defined as an attack is considered highly likely. The level had previously been at substantial, meaning an attack is likely. Read More 

21:06 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Vienna attacker was neutralised within nine minutes

The man who killed four people and injured 22 others during an attack in Vienna was neutralised by armed police within nine minutes, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The attack began around 8 pm local time (1900 GMT) on Monday. Officers from a specialist unit were called to the scene and ended the incident by shooting the man dead by 8.09 pm, Nehammer said. Without their rapid intervention, the incident could have been even worse, he said. (Reuters)

21:05 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Turkey praises 'two heroes' who helped victims during Vienna attack

Two men of Turkish descent said they helped save a police officer and two women during the deadly gun attack in Vienna, actions the Turkish government on Tuesday described as heroic.

"He was lying on the ground and we ran over in zig-zag fashion," Mikail Ozen, a personal trainer and mixed martial arts fighter, told journalists, pointing to the place he and his friend Recep Tayyip Gultekin said the police officer had lain.

"They were shocked, and we were shocked ... The paramedics were standing over there ... We looked at each other and we just walked over. We did what was necessary," he said. "I, as a Muslim of Turkish descent, want to say: I live in Austria, I was born in Austria, I went to school in Austria and learned my profession here in Austria," Ozen said. "If the same thing were to happen again today, I would do the exact same thing without a second thought. Because we live in Austria, we stand with Austria."

The men's actions drew praise from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose country's relations with Austria have been strained in recent years. "Last night there were two heroes in #Vienna. Recep Tayyip and Mikail did what a true Turk and Muslim is expected to do! Thank you young men. WE ARE PROUD OF YOU!" he wrote on Twitter. (Reuters)

18:45 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Armed forces completely taken over property protection: Austrian Chancellor

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz: "I have asked the Interior Minister to do everything possible to investigate this attack. Furthermore, the armed forces have completely taken over the property protection so that the police can bundle all their forces for the investigation work."

17:44 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Vienna attack was an 'Islamist terror attack': Austrian Chancellor

Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said it was now confirmed that Monday's attack was clearly an "Islamist terror attack". "It was an attack out of hatred -- hatred for our fundamental values hatred for our way of life hatred for our democracy in which all people have equal rights and dignity," Kurz told national news agency APA.

The attacker, named Kujtim Fejzulai, an Austrian-North Macedonian dual national, was sentenced to 22 months in prison in April 2019 because he had tried to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group. He was granted early release in December under juvenile law.

Authorities were still trying to determine whether further attackers may be on the run.

17:16 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Vienna terror attack: Witnesses post dramatic videos of attack

At least five people have been killed and several wounded in a “repulsive terrorist attack” in central Vienna, news agency Reuters reported. An armed man, identified as a Islamic State supporter, was shot dead by the police. It is unclear whether the shooter acted alone or with others, but shots were reported from six different locations near the central synagogue. And at least 1,000 police officers have fanned out across the city to look for other possible shooters.

Witnesses said crowded bars were targetted as many people took advantage of the last evening before a nationwide curfew was introduced because of Covid-19. Several people posted dramatic videos of what appeared to be the shooting and its aftermath. Videos circulated on social media showed 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.

15:57 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Vienna gunman tried to join Islamic State in Syria, says Austrian ministry

The gunman shot dead in the Vienna attacks on Monday served a prison term for attempting to travel to Syria and join Islamic State, the Austrian government said on Tuesday. The interior ministry in Vienna confirmed a report by APA news agency saying the man had been sentenced to 22 months in prison in April 2019.

In December 2019, he had was released early due to his young age, according to the report, which cited Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer. The 20-year-old was shot dead by police near St Ruprecht's Church in Vienna, the report said. (Reuters)

15:02 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Vienna terror attacks: Turkey extends support to Austria

Releasing a statement in solidarity with Austria in the wake of Vienna terror attacks, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "We are saddened to receive the news that there are dead and wounded as a result of the terrorist attack that took place in Vienna. We strongly condemn this attack, extend our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish speedy recovery to the wounded. As a country that has been fighting against all sorts of terrorism for decades Turkey stands in solidarity with the Austrian people."

14:44 (IST)03 Nov 2020
We must all stand united against attacks on our open society: Sweden PM

Swedish PM Stefan Löfven: 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.

14:38 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Boris Johnson on Vienna attacks: We stand united with you against terror

Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson on Vienna attacks: "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."

14:17 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Donald Trump on Vienna attacks: These evil attacks against innocent people must stop

Showing solidarity with Austria, US President Donald Trump tweeted: "Our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe. These evil attacks against innocent people must stop. The U.S. stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists."

14:10 (IST)03 Nov 2020
PM Modi says India stands with Austria during this tragic time

Reacting to the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the dastardly terror attacks and asserted that India stands with Austria during this tragic time. “Deeply shocked and saddened by the dastardly terror attacks in Vienna,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted. “India stands with Austria during this tragic time. My thoughts are with the victims and their families,” he added.

14:08 (IST)03 Nov 2020
Emmanuel Macron: France stands alongside Austria, ready to lend its support

Showing solidarity with Austria, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: "Europe is in mourning. One of our own has been hit hard by Islamist terrorism. We think of the victims, their families, the shattered lives. France stands alongside Austria, ready to lend its support."

Multiple gunmen opened fire across central Vienna on Monday, killing five people. Hundreds of policemen and special unit forces fanned out across Vienna on Tuesday, searching for perpetrators of the attacks. (Reuters)

The attack happened hours before a partial lockdown was due to go into place due to the rising spread of the coronavirus, with restaurants, cafes and hotels shuttered and restrictions on movement at night. Authorities gave no indication of the identity of the assailants or reason for the attack.

"We really can't say anything about the background yet," Kurz told ORF. "Of course an anti-Semitic background cannot be ruled out."

In 1981, two people were killed and 18 injured during an attack by two Palestinians at the same Vienna synagogue. In 1985, a Palestinian extremist group killed three civilians in an attack at the airport.

In recent years, Austria has been spared the sort of large-scale attacks seen in Paris, Berlin and London. In August, authorities arrested a 31-year-old Syrian refugee suspected of trying to attack a Jewish community leader in the country's second city Graz. The leader was unhurt.

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