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Friday, November 27, 2020

Vienna attack perpetrator supported Islamic State, says Austria

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the shooter -- who was killed by police during the fray -- acted alone or with others, Nehammer told a briefing on Tuesday morning.

By: Bloomberg | November 3, 2020 11:48:48 am
Police blocks a street near Schwedenplatz square after a shooting in Vienna, Austria November 2, 2020. (Reuters)

The gunman who led the terror attack that killed three people in Vienna was a supporter of Islamic State, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said, as residents were warned to stay in their homes.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the shooter — who was killed by police during the fray — acted alone or with others, Nehammer told a briefing on Tuesday morning. Nehammer declined to give details on the attacker’s age or origin while police investigatons were ongoing.

“This was an attack on our values and an attempt to weaken our democratic society or drive us apart,” Nehammer said. “We’re not going to let this happen, in no way and from whomever. This will have consequences.”

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz expressed sympathy for the victims, the injured and their families. “We will never allow ourselves to be intimidated by terrorism and will fight these attacks resolutely with all means,” he said. Kurz will discuss the attacks with ministers Tuesday morning, according to Austria’s APA news agency. He will then address the country.

Another 15 people were injured during the attack in downtown Vienna on Monday evening, with authorities saying shots had been fired at six different crime scenes.

A spokesman for the Austrian Ministry of the Interior asked Vienna’s population to avoid the city center and “leave the house only when absolutely necessary,” urging people to work from home on Tuesday.

“Don’t go into the public space and stay at home, that’s where you are safest,” he said. Schools will remain open on Tuesday but attendance won’t be compulsory, the city said.

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