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Vienna Attack Leaves Four Dead and 17 Wounded

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Police are searching for at least one suspect after a multiple gun attack in the Austrian capital, Vienna, that killed four people.

Seventeen other people were wounded – some seriously – after gunmen opened fire at six different locations in Vienna center on November 2.

According to officials, one attacker was shot dead by police.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer described the assailant killed by police as an “Islamist terrorist”.

Two of those who died in the shooting were women and two were men. One of the women was reportedly a waitress. The second woman died of her wounds in hospital overnight, reports said.

The victims were in a city center area busy with people in bars and restaurants, near Vienna’s central synagogue, but it is not yet clear if that was the target.

The interior minister advised people to stay away from the center, as police cordoned off some streets and brought in reinforcements. Parents were told to keep their children home on November 3 if they could.

Seven of the wounded have life-threatening injuries, Austrian media report.

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Addressing a news conference, Karl Nehammer described the heavily armed gunman killed by police as an ISIS sympathizer. His home had been searched and video material seized, the minister said. He had been wearing a fake explosive belt, police tweeted.

Earlier, the interior minister said at least one “heavily armed and dangerous” attacker was believed to be still at large. Officials were quoted as saying there could have been as many as four attackers.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called it a “repulsive terror attack”. The government called it “an attack on freedom and democracy”.

The attack came hours before Austria imposed new national restrictions to try to stem rising cases of coronavirus. Many people were enjoying drinks and eating out before a midnight curfew.

The government has announced three days of national mourning, starting immediately, with flags to fly at half-mast and a minute’s silence at midday. Schools will also have a minute’s silence for the victims on Wednesday morning.

European leaders strongly condemned the shooting.

The Vienna shooting comes after a spate of Islamist attacks in France.

Police in the neighboring Czech Republic said they were carrying out random checks on the border with Austria in case the gunman fled in that direction.