Several people including at least one police officer have been seriously injured in central Vienna in what Austria’s interior minister described as a terror attack, Guardian reported.
One attacker was arrested and another shot dead in the attack on Monday night, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.
“At the moment I can confirm we believe this is an apparent terror attack,” Karl Nehammer, the interior minister, told ORF.
“Shots fired in the Inner City district – there are persons injured – KEEP AWAY from all public places or public transport,” the police tweeted.
“There are several injured persons,” they added. “We are on site with all available forces. Please avoid all public squares in the city.”
Earlier reports had suggested that the nearby Stadttempel synagogue could have been the target of the attack.
But Oskar Deutsch, president of the Jewish Community Vienna, said the synagogue on Seitenstettengasse and the office building at the same address were already closed at the time of the attack, and it was “unclear” if it was one of the targets of the attack.
Deutsch told the Kurier newspaper that no members of Vienna’s Jewish community were among those injured in the attack.
ORF cited witnesses as saying that several shots were fired shortly after 8pm (7pm GMT). The police operation was taking place in the centre of Vienna, close to the Danube river.
New coronavirus restrictions came into force in Austria on Monday, including a curfew from 8pm to 6am.
Police repeatedly appealed for witnesses to refrain from sharing photographs or video from the scene after footage which appeared to show an injured policeman was briefly posted on Twitter.