World leaders condemn Vienna attack
World leaders have condemned a suspected Islamist attack that claimed the lives of four victims in central Vienna, including widespread condemnation from the Muslim world.
The attacker, who according to Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer was a sympathiser of the extremist militia ‘Islamic State’, was shot dead by police after the attack in the city centre on Monday evening.
“Terrorism is our common enemy. The fight against these murderers and their instigators is our common fight,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a message issued by her spokesperson.
“The US stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including terrorists,” U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.
“We must let our enemies know what they are up against. We will not give in,” said French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday evening, after France also suffered lethal attacks in the past month.
“Civilised peoples everywhere must unite to defeat the savagery of resurgent terrorism,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote.
Iran has condemned the terrorist attack in central Vienna and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.
“This attack has shown again that terrorism and extremism know no bounds and are to be condemned, for whatever reason,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said in comments carried by news agency ISNA.
An end to Islamophobia in the West could also bring an end to terror, Khatibzadeh added.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the attacks in Afghanistan and Austria, both found to have links to the extremist militia group Islamic State.
In Vienna, an alleged Islamic State sympathiser shot four dead on Monday evening. Also on Monday, an attack on a Kabul University, claimed by Islamic State, killed at least 19 people.
Horrified by the terror attacks in Afghanistan and Austria,” Stoltenberg said on Twitter on Tuesday.
“A reminder that terrorism affects all and the importance of continuing the fight against [Islamic State]. My condolences to all those affected.”
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz delivered a message of national unity as he addressed his country after an attack in Vienna
“We will never allow this hatred to gain ground,” Kurz said in a televised speech.
“We must be aware that this is not a conflict between Christians and Muslims or between Austrians and migrants,” he added.
“Our enemy – Islamist terrorism – does not only want to cause death and pain, but it wants to split our society,” Kurz said, vowing that Austria would defend its democracy, fundamental rights and its liberal way of life.
The Belgian monarchy on Tuesday voiced its grief for victims of terrorist attacks in the Austrian capital of Vienna and expressed solidarity with the country, joining the international mourning of the tragedy.
“Upset by the appalling attack in # Vienna. We share the suffering of the Austrian People. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones,” the Belgian Royal Palace tweeted.
A series of shooting assaults took place on Monday evening in six different locations of Vienna, including a synagogue in the city centre.
Several gunmen killed at least four people and injured up to 18. One of the attackers was eliminated by the security forces, at least one remains on the loose.