Austrian police hunt for accomplices after ‘Islamist terror’ attack in Vienna
Vienna, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- Austrian authorities continued a search Tuesday morning for possible accomplices of an attacker who killed four people in a shooting spree in central Vienna.
The interior minister, Karl Nehammer, said the attack was carried out by a sympathizer of the Islamic State terror organization.
Two men and two women died in the attack on Monday night and 17 others were injured, 15 of them seriously, including a police officer, Nehammer told a press conference.
Police identified and killed one assailant following the shooting.
“We have seen an attack by at least one Islamist terrorist,” Nehammer tweeted Tuesday morning. He told the press conference that a second assailant was still at large.
“We have been a strong and mature democracy for 75 years. Yesterday’s attack is an attack on our values and a totally unsuitable attempt to weaken our democratic society. We do not put up with this,” the interior minister said in another tweet.
He asked residents of Vienna to avoid the city center this morning while a police search was still underway.
Police located the property of the first attacker in the early hours of Tuesday morning. It was located on the outskirts of the capital, according to the local press.
Austria’s APA news agency quoted interior ministry sources as saying several suspected associates of the attacker had been arrested.
Austrian police believe there could have been two attackers behind the shooting in Vienna, although have not ruled out the possibility that there were more.
Gerhard Pürstl, the chief of police, said: “At this moment we believe there was more than one aggressor.”
The attack, the first in Vienna in 35 years, began with a shooting at 8 pm in a central street near the city’s main synagogue, which was closed at the time. The area was also near an area known for its bars and restaurants.
From there, the assailant or assailants made their way to the city center, shooting indiscriminately at people sitting on outdoor terraces.
Police shot and killed one of the aggressors nine minutes after the attack began.
Around a thousand officers, including agents from specialized units and the military, are taking part in the manhunt to track down the second suspect, Pürstl added.
The Austrian army has deployed around 75 troops to boost security around potential targets like churches while Germany and Hungary have offered their assistance if required.EFE-EPA