Europe unites against ‘common enemy’ of terrorism after Vienna attack

World leaders condemn ‘deplorable’ gun rampage in Austria

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared terrorism is “our common enemy” as Europe reeled from another deadly attack on its soil.

At least four people were killed in the Austrian capital of Vienna after an ISIS terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest opened fire on Monday night, just before the city was due to be put into coronavirus lockdown.

Police shot dead one attacker while at least one of his accomplices was still at large.

The Vienna attack comes at a time of high alert across the continent after three people were murdered in a stabbing rampage at a cathedral in Nice on Thursday.

Swiss security services said after the Nice attack that ISIS remained a dominant force across Europe.

Condemning the shootings in Vienna, Mrs Merkel said Germany stood with Austria in its fight against terrorism.

Her spokesman said: “Islamist terror is our common enemy. The fight against these assassins and those who instigate them is our common struggle.”

The foreign ministry said Germany would not “give in to hate that is supposed to divide our societies”.

Framing the killings as an assault on western values, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “We French share the shock and sorrow of the Austrian people following the attack in Vienna. After France, it is a friendly nation that has been attacked. This is our Europe.

“Our enemies must know who they’re dealing with. We will concede nothing.”

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - NOVEMBER 03: Police stands guard at Schwedenplatz the day after a deadly shooting spree on November 03, 2020 in Vienna, Germany. One gunman, identified as a Chechen man who had sworn alliance to the Islamic State (IS), was shot and killed by police after he ran shooting with a long gun through an area with restaurants and cafes. So far four people are confirmed dead and 17 wounded. Police are searching for a second possible suspect. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)
Police stand guard in Vienna the day after a deadly terrorist attack in the Austrian capital. Getty

The UAE expressed its “strong condemnation of these criminal acts and its permanent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at destabilising security and stability in contravention of religious and humanitarian values and principles”.

Its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation extended its “heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous crime, wishing a quick recovery to those injured”.

Turkey joined global condemnation of the attack.

“We are saddened to receive the news that there are dead and wounded as a result of the terrorist attack that took place in Vienna,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“As a country that has been fighting against all sorts of terrorism for decades Turkey stands in solidarity with the Austrian people.”

US President Donald Trump tweeted that his prayers were with all Austrians.

He said: “These evil attacks against innocent people must stop. The US stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply shocked” and that the “UK’s thoughts are with the people of Austria – we stand united with you against terror”.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said there was “no room for hatred and violence in our common European home,” while his foreign minister Luigi Di Maio tweeted that “Europe must react”.

Broken glass is seen on the ground next to chairs and tables of a cafe near Stephansplatz in Vienna on November 3, 2020, after a shooting at multiple locations across central Vienna. Four people were killed in multiple shootings in Vienna on Monday evening, November 2, 2020, in what Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described as a "repulsive terror attack". / AFP / ALEX HALADA
Broken glass is seen on the ground next to chairs and tables of a cafe near Stephansplatz in Vienna. AFP

European Council chief Charles Michel said: “Europe strongly condemns this cowardly act that violates life and our human values.”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that she was “shocked and saddened,” and that her “thoughts are with the families of the victims and the Austrian people”.

The EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell called it “a cowardly act of violence and hate”.

Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis said he was horrified and wanted to “express my solidarity to all people in Austria”.

Czech police said they had started random checks on the country’s border with Austria and had also stepped up “supervision over major Jewish facilities in the Czech Republic”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called the Vienna shooting a “cruel and cynical” crime.

He “expressed confidence that forces of terror will not be able to threaten anyone or sow discord and enmity among people of different religions”.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted that he was “shocked by the horrific attacks” and offered "full solidarity”.

“Our thoughts are with the people in Vienna and the authorities dealing with the situation. Our hearts, with the victims and their loved ones.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted his condolences on Twitter, calling the attack “horrific and heartbreaking”.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible this act of terrorism," he said. "Our thoughts are with the people of Austria and everyone affected by this deplorable act.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “deeply shocked and saddened by the dastardly terror attacks in Vienna”.

He said India stands with Austria during this tragic time, and that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called it a “terrible attack near a synagogue in Vienna” and said that he had conveyed full solidarity from the Netherlands to Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and with the Austrian government in dealing with this heinous act.”

“#Pakistan strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack in Central #Vienna on Monday night,” Islamabad’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman tweeted.

“We extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to families of victims and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted his shock over the “awful terror attacks in Austria”.