Vienna shooting rampage abominable - GulfToday

Vienna shooting rampage abominable

Vienna Shooting

Security officials take charge of the crime scene.

The shooting rampage in six locations across Vienna in which several people were killed is a glaring example of how distorted elements can hijack peace and tolerance to realise their diabolical goals.

The UAE is one of the first countries to condemn the attack.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation affirmed that the UAE expresses its strong condemnation of these criminal acts and its permanent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at destabilising security and stability in contravention of religious and humanitarian values and principles.

The Ministry extended its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous crime, wishing a quick recovery to those injured.

Gunmen opened fire at multiple locations across central Vienna, in what Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described as a “repulsive terror attack”.

The shooting spree also took place near a synagogue and the world-famous opera house in the heart of Vienna.

One of the suspected killers, identified as a Daesh group sympathiser, was shot dead by police who said they were searching for at least one more assailant still at large.

The dead attacker was a 20-year-old Austrian-North Macedonian dual national who had a previous terror conviction. He had a conviction for trying to travel to Syria.

In total 17 people were being treated in hospitals, not just with gunshot wounds but also with cuts.

Austria’s military has provided 75 soldiers to guard key sites in Vienna, freeing up police to continue the investigation. Austria had until now been spared the sort of major attacks that have hit other European countries.

France stepped up security nationwide on Friday to guard against extremist attacks after the fatal stabbings at a church in Nice, while protests flared in parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa over publication of blasphemous cartoons.

In July 2016 two attackers killed a priest with a blade and seriously wounded another hostage in a church in northern France before being shot dead by French police. Then French President Francois Hollande said the two hostage-takers had pledged allegiance to Daesh.

Fifteen house searches have taken place and several people have been arrested. The Vienna attacker “was equipped with a fake explosive vest and an automatic rifle, a handgun and a machete to carry out this repugnant attack on innocent citizens.”

People in Vienna were urged to stay at home if possible on Tuesday and children did not have to go to school. Some 1,000 police officers were on duty in Vienna on Tuesday morning.

Authorities said residents have uploaded 20,000 videos of the attack to police.

The attack drew swift condemnation and assurances of support from leaders around Europe, including from French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has experienced three attacks in recent weeks, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday night as he prepared for his final rally ahead of Election Day: “Our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe.” “These evil attacks against innocent people must stop,” Trump added. “The US stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists…”

Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s foremost religious institution, condemned the “terrorist attacks” in Vienna. It called on international institutions “to stand united” against terrorism and reject violence and hatred.

Germany stepped up checks at the Austrian border as Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “The fight against these assassins and those who instigate them is our common struggle.”

President Macron tweeted: “We French share the shock and sorrow of the Austrian people”.

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