A gunman was shot dead by police. Authorities are urging the public to stay inside while other gunmen – not sure how many in total – remain on a large scale.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurs Home Secretary Carl Neymar called the incident a terrorist attack.
“We are still fighting terrorists,” said Nehmer, an Austrian public broadcaster in the ORF, with several suspicious assault rifles. We assume there are several criminals who are heavily armed.
The shooting took place in the Austrian capital around 8pm local time, hours before a nationwide lockdown was launched to counter the revival of Kovid-19, police said.
Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig said the attackers began firing indiscriminately at people in a crowded district full of cafes and restaurants near the Sitanstetengas Temple, Vienna’s main synagogue.
“We are trying to find out more about the culprits and keep the population safe,” he told the ORF
Kurz told the ORF that “an anti-Semitic motive cannot be avoided” because of the proximity of the attack on the synagogue.
Oscar Dutch, head of the Jewish community in Vienna, said in a tweet that although it was not clear if the synagogue was a target, it was closed during the shooting.
Kurs said the Austrian army was deployed to help protect buildings and property. “We are going through difficult times in our Republic right now. I want to thank you for all the life-threatening emergency services, especially for our safety today,” he added.
Leaders across Europe strongly condemned the attack.
“France is a friendly country that has been attacked since,” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter. In the following weeks, France carried out two terrorist attacks.
This cowardice, which violates life and our human values, is strongly condemned by Europe, “said Charles Michael, president of the European Council.
Other leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, have shared statements of shock and grief.
This is a developing story, with updates to follow
Stephanie Hales and Tim Lister contributed to this report.