At least 3 dead and 15 wounded in Austrian rampage as police hunt for terrorist


At least three people have been killed and 15 others injured after six gun attacks near a synagogue in Vienna on the city’s final night before coronavirus lockdown.

A huge manhunt was underway for multiple attackers armed with rifles following the horrific shootings, with the first near the synagogue reported at 8pm local time.

As of 2am in Vienna, one terrorist remains at large with police cordons in place throughout the city and strict border checks. Children in the city will not be required to attend school on Tuesday.

One attacker was shot dead by police with two civilians, one of them a woman, killed in the rampage. A police officer is also thought to have been shot and seriously injured. Vienna mayor Michael Ludwig said 15 people were admitted to hospital, seven with serious injuries.

The rampage came on the final evening before Austria went into lockdown amid rising coronavirus rates, with bars and restaurants in the country closed from midnight and people flocking to enjoy one last night of freedom.

Shocking footage showing a man carrying an assault rifle and sprinting through the streets of Vienna and firing off shots was shared on social media, shortly after reports of the attack. More distressing footage shared only appeared to show the moment a man is shot by an attacker.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told Austrian broadcaster ORF: ‘It appears to have been a terror attack.’

He added that the perpetrators were ‘heavily armed and dangerous’ and the army had been asked to guard key locations in the city to allow police officers to pursue the attackers.

‘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 said, urging the public to stay indoors until the all-clear is given.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said: ‘It is of course a very tense security situation, especially in the federal capital Vienna. While we pursue them, they are very well equipped. So automatic weapons, very professionally prepared. It is definitely a terrorist attack.

‘There are now 15 victims who are wounded and are currently being treated in the hospitals. There is a policeman who was shot – thank God, not in mortal danger. The situation is still relatively confusing.

‘We can’t really say anything about the background (to the attack). An anti-Semitic background cannot of course be ruled out, especially because of the location where this terrorist attack started.

‘What we know for sure is that there are several suspects, one of whom has so far been eliminated, but some information is still on its way and the danger has therefore not yet been completely averted.’

Armed policemen stand with a dog near the State Opera in the center of Vienna while the manhunt continues