Vienna attacker ‘sympathised with Islamic State’

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A fourth person has died following a shooting in Vienna which authorities believe may have an Islamist link.

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told reporters that two men and two woman have died from their injuries.

A suspected attacker, who was carrying an assault rifle and a fake suicide vest, was also shot and killed by police.

Mr Nehammer said: “The attacker sympathised with the militant terrorist group IS.”

Authorities are still trying to determine whether further attackers may be on the run and people in Vienna have been urged to stay at home on Tuesday.

Fifteen people were injured in the attack in the centre of the capital, among them a police officer. The 28-year-old officer is in hospital but no longer in a life-threatening condition.

The shooting began on Monday evening near Vienna’s main synagogue as many people were enjoying a last night of open restaurants and bars before the start of a coronavirus lockdown.

Police officers near a synagogue in Vienna
Police officers near a synagogue in Vienna (Ronald Zak/AP)

Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said he saw at least one person shoot at people sitting outside bars in the street below his window near the city’s main synagogue.

“They were shooting at least 100 rounds just outside our building,” he said.

“All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last evening before the lockdown.”

The attack drew swift condemnation and assurances of support from leaders around Europe, including from French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country also experienced three Islamist attacks in recent weeks.

US President Donald Trump tweeted as he prepared for his final rally ahead of election day: “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,” Mr Trump added. “The US stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists.”

Austria’s military has provided soldiers to guard key sites in Vienna, freeing up police to continue the investigation. Germany and Hungary have offered to send tactical police units to support their Austrian colleagues.

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