“Several” people died in the Vienna attacks on Monday night said the Austrian interior minister, Karl Nehammer, without providing an exact figure. Earlier one person was confirmed killed and another person, believed to be one of the attackers, was killed.
At least one gunman remained on the run at 1am Vienna time, Nehammer said. He warned the assailants were “heavily armed and dangerous” and urged the public to stay indoors until the all-clear was given. Nehammer told broadcaster ORF: “We have brought several special forces units together that are now searching for the presumed terrorists. I am therefore not limiting it to an area of Vienna because these are mobile perpetrators.”
15 people were injured and taken to hospital after the attack that began shortly after 8pm local time on Monday. One of the injured is thought to be a policeman. Seven of the injured were in a serious condition, Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig, said.
The attacks began with volleys of gunfire and the injury and death tolls are expected to rise.
The dead attacker is believed to have been shot outside St Rupert’s Church. Some early reports suggested he wearing an explosive belt, but police have not confirmed this.
The assaults, by an unknown number of shooters carrying long firearms, occurred at six locations close to Seitenstettengasse in the heart of the Austrian capital.
The Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, described the assaults as a “definitely” terror attack that had been “very professionally” planned. Kurz has called the military onto the streets of Vienna. “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. Our police will take decisive action against the perpetrators of this hideous terrorist attack,” Kurz said.