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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Vienna shooting leaves 5 dead; witnesses post dramatic videos of attack

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 on the street.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 3, 2020 9:20:06 pm
Three persons investigate at the scene following gunfire on people enjoying a last evening out before lockdown in the Austrian capital Vienna, early Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

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.

The shootings took place in the heart of the Austrian capital, hours before the midnight start of a nationwide lockdown, one of several being imposed in Europe to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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.

Another video showed a man in civilian clothing emerging from a bar or restaurant, then firing a rifle twice down a street. Other videos showed people running for cover or ducking behind obstacles as shots echoed through the streets, and heavily armed police officers taking up positions.

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said, “We experienced an attack yesterday evening by at least one Islamist terrorist, a situation that we have not had to live through in Austria for decades. Austria for more than 75 years has been a strong democracy, a mature democracy, a country whose identity is marked by values and basic rights, with freedom of expression, rule of law, but also tolerance in human coexistence. Yesterday’s attack is an attack on just these values.”

After a shooting the glasses at an entrance of a car parking is broken at the scene in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Police in the Austrian capital said several shots were fired shortly after 8 p.m. local time on Monday, Nov. 2, in a lively street in the city center of Vienna. Austria’s top security official said authorities believe there were several gunmen involved and that a police operation was still ongoing. (Photo/Ronald Zak)

Condolences poured in from around the world, with top officials from the European Union, France, Norway, Greece and the United States expressing their shock at the attacks. U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet that “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.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the terror attacks in Vienna and asserted that India stands with Austria during this tragic time.

(With inputs from agencies)

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