According to Austria’s Minister of the Interior Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) “at least” one Islamist terrorist is responsible for the attack in Vienna. An assassin armed with an assault rifle had been eliminated by security forces. An alleged belt of explosives had turned out to be a dummy. The man had been identified as a sympathizer of the terrorist militia “Islamic State”, Nehammer said in Vienna on Tuesday morning. He could not rule out the possibility that there were several perpetrators, Nehammer said. During house searches “in the vicinity of the perpetrator”, several people were arrested, the Austrian news agency APA learned from the Ministry of the Interior.
According to the Vienna police chief Gerhard Pürstl, the assassin was fatally hit at 8:09 pm. Franz Ruf, Director General for Public Security, said the assassin’s apartment had been opened with explosives. A total of seven police officers had used their firearms. He said that Germany had offered support by emergency forces, and would fall back on them if necessary.
According to the information, three civilian casualties had already been reported that evening, two men and one woman. In the morning the Minister of the Interior informed the Austrian news agency APA that another woman had died. This means that a total of four people were killed by the assassin or assassins in the bloody attack on Monday evening. More than 15 people – among them a police officer – were injured, seven of them seriously, as reported by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF, citing APA.
Nehammer did not at first give further details about the victims and the assailant, for example about his origin. He merely said that the assailant who was rendered harmless was a “person who has dedicated himself to the IS”