Authorities in Vienna, Austria searched Tuesday for at least one suspect believed to be at large after gunmen attacked six locations in the city late Monday, killing at least two people and injuring 14 others.
"It is the hardest day for Austria in many years. We are dealing with a terror attack the severity of which, thankfully, we have not experienced in Austria in many years," Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told a news conference early Tuesday.
Nehammer said police had killed one “heavily armed terrorist equipped with an automatic assault rifle.” A police officer was among the injured
The attack took place shortly after 8 p.m. Monday and came hours before a partial lockdown was due to go into effect due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Police cordoned off a large area of central Vienna as they searched for suspects. Authorities advised people to stay away from public places and public transport. Students in Vienna were allowed to miss classes Tuesday.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described the shootings as a "repulsive terrorist attack."
He said the attackers had "prepared professionally" and "were very well equipped with automatic weapons."
Speaking to the Austrian public broadcasting station ORF, Nehammer said that all six locations that were attacked were near a central city street that house’s Vienna’s main synagogue.
Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said on Twitter that it was not clear whether the synagogue and its adjoining offices had been the target of the attack. He said the buildings were closed at the time of the violence.
Nehammer said the army has been tasked with protecting key sites in the capital so that police can focus on pursuing the gunmen.
President Emmanuel Macron of France, which has faced several recent attacks blamed on Muslim extremists, tweeted that the French "share the shock and grief of the Austrian people hit by an attack tonight."
"This is our Europe," he said. "Our enemies must know with whom they are dealing. We will not retreat."