Terrorist Attack in Vienna: ‘They Shot At People Sitting in Bars’

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(Newswire.net— November 3, 2020) —  Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said he saw at least one person shooting at people sitting outside in bars on the street below his window.

“They [terrorists] ran and fired about 100 bullets in front of our building,” Rabbi said, Reuters report.

“All these bars have tables outside. This evening is the last night before closing (curfew),” he added. “From midnight, all bars and restaurants will be closed in Austria for the next month, and many people probably wanted to use that evening to go out,” said the rabbi.

Austrian media published footage of several security cameras showing one or more attackers in white overalls armed with automatic weapons. The authorities called the media not to share the footage on social networks until the attackers are captured.

Oscar Deutsch, the chairman of the Jewish community in Vienna, stated that the shooting took place on the streets where the main synagogue is located, but that it is not entirely clear whether this religious building was the main target of the attack. The synagogue was closed at the time of the shooting.

According to Reuters, measures have been intensified in front of synagogues in many large European cities.

Officials did not give any indications about the identity of the attacker who was killed, nor did they say what they assumed were the reasons for the attack. “We really can’t say anything more about the background of the attack,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told ORF, adding that anti-Semitism cannot be ruled out.

Eyewitness: “At first we thought that firecrackers…”

One eyewitness told the BBC that they heard firecracker-like sounds and that there were between 20 and 30 of them.

And then we thought that it could be shots and we saw ambulances appearing, said an eyewitness who was in a restaurant not far from the place of the attack.

Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer and General Director of Public Security Franz Ruf said at the press conference that the search for the attacker was ongoing and that his apartment had been searched. Three civilians and one of the attackers were killed, and 15 people were injured, including one police officer.

“My thoughts in these difficult hours are with the victims and relatives,” said Minister Nehammer. “Yesterday’s attack is an attack on our values and an attempt to divide us. We will not tolerate that. There will be consequences,” he added in his address.

Nehammer confirmed that the attacker, who was killed, was “heavily armed with an explosive belt”.

Vienna’s director-general of public security, Franz Ruff, said “intensive work is being done to identify the attackers.”