US President Donald Trump has denounced a terrorist attack in Austria’s capital, calling the deadly shooting spree “vile” and “evil” while assuring US support for Europe following similar acts of terrorism in France.
“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,” Trump said in a tweet on Monday night, hours after Vienna was beset by gunmen who engaged police in running shootouts for hours.
The US stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists.
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.
The shootings left at least three civilians dead and over a dozen people injured, including one police officer. Austria’s interior minister Karl Nehammer said at a news conference earlier on Monday evening that At least one of the assailants remained on the run amid a massive police manhunt. One was shot and killed by officers during the gun battle, which erupted in six different locations around the city
Nehammer described the assailant as “an Islamist terrorist” who was sympathetic towards the Islamic State (IS/ISIL) terror group. One of the gunmen appears to have shouted “Allahu akbar!” (“God is great!” in Arabic) at one point during the attack, footage circulating online shows.
Austrian policemen search two civilians in front of The Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) after a shooting near the`Stadttempel` synagogue in #Vienna, Austria. 📷epa-efe / @brunapix#ViennaAttack#epaphotos#photojournalismpic.twitter.com/jZXvFRsDYf
BREAKING – More than 1,000 people are stuck inside the Vienna Opera house. ORF TV has issued a map of the 6 locations attacked this evening in #Vienna (via @Faytuks and @AuroraIntel) pic.twitter.com/O1Qq7cVJa5
As a sweeping police search got underway around the city, up to 1,000 bystanders were trapped inside Vienna’s State Opera House – located a little more than a kilometer (0.7 miles) away from the area where the shooting began, near the Stadttempel synagogue – Sputnik reported, citing a witness.
“It is really scary. They finished singing 30 minutes ago. There are more than 1,000 people [stuck at the Vienna State Opera],” the witness said, declining to be named.
While enduring what must have been a tense and frightening wait inside, the opera-goers were treated to an after-hours show from the Vienna Philharmonic. The brief reprieve was captured by one netizen and shared online with the caption “No [terror] will ever stop the music in Vienna.”
Police kept us safe inside the @WrStaatsoper after tonight’s performance. While we waited, members of @vienna_phil started to play. No #angriff#terrorwien#viennaattacks#viennashooting will ever stop the music in #Vienna ❤❤❤ pic.twitter.com/H8wfWjR5lV
The opera house, as well as a nearby theater, were later evacuated safely, according to the New York Times.
The attack in Vienna follows two other high-profile terrorist incidents elsewhere in Europe, with a stabbing rampage leaving three dead in Nice, France last week and a gruesome beheading of a school teacher in Paris in October, both of which were deemed “Islamist terrorism” by French authorities.
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