Gunmen have opened fire at six locations in Austria’s capital, Vienna, killing at least one person and injuring 15 others in what Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described as a "repulsive terrorist attack."
Kurz told Austrian broadcaster ORF that several gunmen were still on the loose. Police have cordoned off a large area of central Vienna and are engaged in a hunt for the shooters.
Police said on Twitter Monday evening that residents of Vienna should “KEEP AWAY from all public places or public transport."
Police said that in addition to one bystander being killed, one of the attackers has been shot dead by police. A police officer is 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.
Kurz said, "We are victims of a despicable terror attack in the federal capital that is still ongoing." He said the attackers had "prepared professionally" and "were very well equipped with automatic weapons."
Speaking to ORF, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said all six locations that were attacked were near a central city street that houses 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.
Unverified videos circulating on social media showed gunmen walking through the streets of Vienna, apparently shooting at people at random.
Interior Minister 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."