Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has denounced a deadly terrorist attack in Vienna, vowing “decisive action” against the culprits while announcing that the armed forces would take over some police duties in the city.
“We are currently going through difficult times in our republic. I would like to thank all the emergency services who risk their lives, especially today for our safety,” Kurz said in a series of tweets on Monday night, adding: “Our police will take decisive action against the perpetrators of this hideous terrorist attack.”
I am glad that our police officers have already been able to eliminate a perpetrator. We will never allow ourselves to be intimidated by terrorism and will fight these attacks resolutely by all means.
Wir erleben gerade schwere Stunden in unserer Republik. Ich möchte allen Einsatzkräften danken, die insbesondere heute für unsere Sicherheit ihr Leben riskieren. Unsere Polizei wird entschlossen gegen die Täter dieses widerwärtigen Terroranschlags vorgehen.
— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) November 2, 2020
The chancellor also said that the federal government had deployed the military to “take over the property protection previously carried out by police in Vienna” in order to free up law enforcement resources.
READ MORE: DRAMATIC VIDEOS show running gun battles with police in central Vienna amid suspected terrorist attack
Assailants armed with rifles launched an attack in downtown Vienna earlier on Monday evening, targeting six different locations near the city’s largest synagogue and engaging police in running gun battles. At least one bystander has been killed in the shooting and another 15 injured, police said, adding that one of the perpetrators was also shot dead. A police spokesman declined to confirm or deny media reports about a possible hostage situation near the city center, saying it’s “too early” to comment publicly.
While authorities have yet to confirm any motive for the deadly shootings, at least one of the suspected attackers was heard in footage shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic). The exact target also remains unclear, as the synagogue and adjacent offices were closed at the time of the incident.
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