Vienna shooting: Several people feared dead in Austrian capital, officials say
At least one person has been killed, and several people are feared dead, after an attack near a synagogue in the Austrian capital city of Vienna, according to the country’s officials.
The Austria Press Agency (APA) quoted ambulance service spokesman Daniel Melcher saying there were several dead and injured, though he was unable to provide a number yet.
Earlier, Karl Nehammer, Austria’s interior minister, said he believed the incident was an "apparent terror attack", adding that authorities believed there were several attackers involved.
The APA cited Nehammer’s office when it reported that one attacker was killed and another could be on the run.
Vienna police urged people to avoid all open spaces and public transport in the city, and urged social media users not to post videos of the ongoing police operation.
“There are several injured persons,” police tweeted. “We are on site with all available forces. Please avoid all public squares in the city.”
Oskar Deutsch, the head of the Jewish community in Vienna, said the shooting took place in the street where the city’s main synagogue is located but that it wasn’t clear whether the house of worship had been targeted.
The synagogue was already closed at the time of the shooting, Deutsch tweeted.
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister told The Associated Press that he saw one person fire shots at people sitting outside bars.
“They were shooting at least 100 rounds just outside our building,” Hofmeister said.
“As of midnight, all bars and restaurants will be closed in Austria for the next month and a lot of people probably wanted to use that evening to be able to go out,” he explained.