5 dead in Vienna attack; assailant had previous conviction

VIENNA (AP) — Five people died, including an assailant, and 17 others were wounded in a shooting in the heart of Vienna hours before a coronavirus lockdown started, Austrian authorities said Tuesday. The dead attacker was a 20-year-old Austrian-North Macedonian dual national who had a previous terror conviction.

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said two men and two women have died from their injuries in the attack Monday evening. The suspected attacker was shot and killed by police.

Vienna’s hospital service said seven people were in life-threatening condition Tuesday after the attack, the Austrian news agency APA reported. In total, 17 people were being treated in hospitals, with gunshot wounds but also cuts.

Police officers stay in position at stairs named ‘Theodor Herzl Stiege’ near a synagogue after gunshots were heard, in Vienna, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. Photo: AP

Nehammer said that initial investigations indicate the suspect who was killed had sympathized with the Islamic State group.

“We experienced an attack last night by at least one Islamist terrorist,” Nehammer told reporters. He declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.

Nehammer later told APA that the dead assailant, who had roots in the Balkan nation of North Macedonia, had a previous conviction under a law that punishes membership in terrorist organisations.

More details on Wednesday’s Borneo Bulletin.