Armed men opened fire in six locations in the center of Vienna on Monday evening. At least three people were killed in one attack – including one of the attackers – and around 15 people were injured.
The motive for the shootings, which began near the main synagogue in the Austrian capital, was not clear, but Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described the shootings as a “repulsive terrorist attack” and said the armed men were “very well equipped with automatic weapons” and would have “professionally prepared”.
Leaders in Europe and elsewhere used social media to condemn the attack and to express their solidarity with Austria. Here is a summary of their reactions.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has experienced two severe attacks in the past few weeks, tweeted: “We French share the shock and grief of the Austrian people.”
“After France, it is a friendly nation that has been attacked,” he added, referring to the murder of three people by an attacker in the southern city of Nice on Thursday and the beheading of a teacher outside his school in Paris a few days earlier.
“This is our Europe,” he said. “Our enemies need to know who they are dealing with. We will not retreat. “
Women are fleeing the first district near the State Opera in downtown Vienna on November 2, 2020 after shooting near a synagogue [Joe Klamar /AFP]
The German Foreign Ministry called the attacks “terrifying and worrying”.
“We do not yet fully understand the extent of the terror. Our thoughts are with the injured and victims in this difficult time,” said the ministry in a tweet. “We will not give in to the hatred that aims to divide our societies.”
Terrifying and disturbing news from #Vienna: Even if we do not yet know the full extent of the terror, our thoughts are with the injured and victims at this difficult time. We will not give in to the hatred that aims to divide our societies.
– GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) November 2, 2020
The Czech police said they were taking “preventive measures” on the border with Austria in connection with the Vienna attack.
“The police carry out random checks of vehicles and passengers at border crossings with Austria in order to take preventive measures in connection with the terrorist attack in Vienna,” tweeted the police.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply shocked by the horrific attacks” in Vienna.
“We are united with you against terrorism,” he said in a tweet.
I am deeply shocked by the terrible attacks in Vienna this evening. The thoughts of Great Britain are with the people of Austria – we stand together against terrorism.
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 2, 2020
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, described the attack as a “cowardly act” that “harms life and our human values”.
“We stand with Austria,” he said in a tweet.
Europe strongly condemns this cowardly act that violates life and our human values.
My thoughts are with the victims and the people in #Vienna after the terrible attack tonight.
We stand with Austria @sebastiankurz
– Charles Michel (@eucopresident) November 2, 2020
Giuseppe Conte, the President of Italy, also strongly condemned the shootings.
“In our common European homeland there is no room for hatred and violence,” he said on Twitter in Italian and German.
On November 2, 2020, the police searched a person in Mariahilferstrasse in downtown Vienna after shooting near a synagogue [Roland Schlager/ APA/ AFP]
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed solidarity in a tweet.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families as well as with the Austrian government in dealing with this heinous act.”
A terrible attack near a synagogue in Vienna. I have just conveyed the full solidarity from the Netherlands to @sebastiankurz. Our thoughts go with the victims and their families as well as with the Austrian government in dealing with this heinous act.
– Mark Rutte (@MinPres) November 2, 2020
“We are saddened by the news that there are dead and wounded as a result of the terrorist attack in Vienna,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.
“We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and express our condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives and their wishes [a] quick recovery of the wounded.
“As a country that has been fighting all kinds of terrorism for decades, Turkey stands in solidarity with the Austrian people.”
US President Donald Trump offered prayers and said the US condemned “another heinous act of terrorism in Europe”.
Robert O’Brien, his national security adviser, said the Americans prayed for the Viennese. “There is no justification for hatred and violence like this. We are in the fight against terrorism with Austria, France and all of Europe, ”said O’Brien.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned what he called a “terrible terrorist attack,” adding, “We must all stand together against hatred and violence.”