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Austrian official: Several injuries, possible deaths after 'apparent terrorist attack' in Vienna

Austrian official: Several injuries, possible deaths after 'apparent terrorist attack' in Vienna
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An “apparent terrorist attack” in Vienna on Monday led to several injuries and potentially fatalities, Austria’s interior minister said.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told the Austria Press Agency (APA) that officials believe the attack was executed by several people. 

“At the moment I can confirm we believe this is an apparent terror attack,” he said, according to Reuters

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“We believe there are several perpetrators,” he said. “Unfortunately there are also several injured, probably also dead.”

Vienna police reported “several” exchanges of gunfire in the Inner City district, which has many bars and restaurants. The incident also occurred close to Stadttempel, Vienna’s main synagogue, but it wasn’t clear if the synagogue was a target, The Washington Post reported.

“Shots fired in the Inner City district — there are persons injured — KEEP AWAY from all public places or public Transport,” police posted on Twitter.

Officers requested that people not share photos or videos of the incident or police presence, saying it “jeopardizes police forces as well as the civilian population.” 

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The APA previously cited Nehammer’s office when reporting that one attacker was killed and another was potentially on the run, The Associated Press reported. It also reported that one police officer was shot and seriously injured, according to Reuters. 

Oskar Deutsch, the head of Vienna’s Jewish community, tweeted that the shooting occurred in the “immediate vicinity” of the synagogue but noted that the place of worship was already closed when the attack took place.

Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister told The Associated Press that he saw at least one person fire shots at people sitting outside bars in the street below his window.

The attack came at 8 p.m., hours before Austria plans to shut down all bars and restaurants for a month in a coronavirus lockdown.