Austria police launch manhunt after Vienna terror attack leaves 5 dead, many wounded – USA TODAY

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Kim Hjelmgaard
 
| USA TODAY

At least four people were killed and more than a dozen seriously injured in Austria’s capital Vienna late Monday in an assault that government officials said was connected to a radicalized person who “sympathized” with the Islamic State terror group. 

Police shot and killed one suspected attacker – his death brought the total death toll to five – who was carrying an assault rifle and a fake suicide vest. Authorities were still trying to determine Tuesday whether further attackers may be on the run. 

People in Vienna were urged to stay at home if possible. 

The attack comes amid a series of deadly assaults in France in recent weeks, partly linked to a terrorism trial connected to 2015 attacks at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The attacks in France marked the return of terrorism-related violence in the heart of Europe after a period when few such assaults were registered. 

France terror attacks: Muhammad cartoons spark secularism, Islamophobia debate

The attack in Vienna unfolded across six different locations near a synagogue, restaurants and busy shopping areas and came hours before Austria was due to start a nationwide lockdown to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said it was not clear if gunman acted alone or had help from accomplices. Nehammer described the killed assailant, who injured a police officer, as an “Islamist terrorist” and just before midnight Austria’s leader said in a televised address that the country had become “the victim of a disgusting terror attack.”

Nehammer said the attacker killed in Vienna was a 20-year-old dual citizen of Austria and North Macedonia.

Separately, Islamic State militants in Afghanistan stormed Kabul University on Monday as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador, sparking an hours-long gun battle and leaving at least 22 dead and 22 wounded at the war-torn country’s largest school.

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