World leaders are offering their condolences to Austria and condemning terrorism in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack that hit Vienna.
On late Monday, at least four people were killed and 18 injured in the centre of Vienna by four gunmen.
One of the assailants was shot dead by the police and later identified as a supporter of the Islamic State (banned in Russia).
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has called the incident a terrorist attack.
“We, the French, share the shock and sorrow of the Austrian people struck this evening by an attack in the heart of their capital, Vienna.
“After France, it is a friendly country that is attacked. This is our Europe. Our enemies must know who they are dealing with.
“We will not give up anything,” French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has seen its own share of violence in recent months, tweeted.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also voiced his shock as well as support on behalf of the United Kingdom.
“I am deeply shocked by the terrible attacks in Vienna tonight. The UK’s thoughts are with the people of Austria – we stand united with you against terror,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Kurz in which he offered his condolences as well as words of encouragement.
“The Russian president has strongly condemned this cruel and cynical crime, which yet again proved the inhumane nature of terrorism and expressed certainty that terrorists would not succeed in scaring people, sowing discord and disagreements among people of different religions,” the telegram said, according to the Kremlin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the German people stand in solidarity with the Austrians and named Islamist terrorism a common foe.
“In these terrible hours, during which Vienna has become a target of a terrorist attack, my thoughts are with the people there as well as the security forces that stand against this threat,” Merkel said in a statement posted on Twitter by government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed Washington’s commitment to fight terrorism calling for an end to attacks against the innocent.
“Our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe. These evil attacks against innocent people must stop.
“The U.S. stands with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both took to Twitter to condemn the attack, which targeted a synagogue among other things.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of #Austria as we follow last night’s despicable terrorist attack in #Vienna with concern,” Rivlin wrote.
Netanyahu also called for unity in the face of the terrorist threat.
“Israel condemns the brutal attack in Vienna and stands in total solidarity with Austria. Civilised peoples everywhere must unite to defeat the savagery of resurgent terrorism,” Netanyahu wrote.
President of Jewish Community of Rome Ruth Dureghello called for a European strategy to counteract Islamic fundamentalism.
“The assaults in Nice and Vienna are attacks on the West and Europe.
“We need courage to say that the threat of fundamentalism is still present and we need a European strategy that can counteract and defeat it,” she tweeted.
Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric expressed solidarity with Austria.
“Vienna was struck in the heart last night. This heinous terrorist attack in the Austrian capital is deeply worrying, but it will not deter us from defending of our democratic rights and freedoms.
“The Council of Europe stands in solidarity with Austria, its authorities and the Austrian people. We will remain resolute and further strengthen our cooperation in the fight against extremism and terrorism,” Buric said in a statement.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry reacted by condemning all forms of terrorism, saying that there is no justification for what has transpired.
“Japan extends its sincere condolences to the bereaved families for the loss of their loved ones and expresses heartfelt sympathy to those who were injured in the attacks which occurred in the Old City of Vienna on November.
“Japan stands in solidarity with the people of Austria in this difficult time,” spokesman Tomoyuki Yoshida said in a statement.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev offered a similar evaluation of the events.
“Reckless terrorist act in Vienna can’t be justified. We express solidarity to the Austrian people and its government.
“It is vital to unite the efforts of the international community to effectively counter terrorism – an ideology and practice of misanthropy,” Tokayev tweeted.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was not far behind in pledging his country’s solidarity with Austria after what had transpired.
“A terrible attack near a synagogue in Vienna. I have just conveyed full solidarity from the Netherlands to [Chancellor Kurz].
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and with the Austrian government in dealing with this heinous act,” Rutte tweeted. (Sputnik/NAN)