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Shooting in Vienna ‘apparent terrorist attack’

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Exchanges of gunfire Monday night between police and unknown assailants in Vienna come after several days of apparently Islamist attacks and demonstrations against Catholics and Catholic churches in Austria.

Monday night’s gunfire took place in close proximity to the Stadttempel, Vienna’s main synagogue, although police have not said whether the synagogue was the target of an attempted terrorist attack.

Austria’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said Monday night, according to media reports, that what occured was an “apparent terrorist attack.”

“Unfortunately there are also several injured, probably also dead.”

Viennese police have reported injuries amid several exchanges of gunfire in the Austrian capital’s Inner Ring, and police have instructed residents to avoid the area. One perpetrator was arrested according to agency reports.

Austrian media have reported several possible deaths during the exchanges, and one apparently detonated explosive device in close proximity to the synagogue.

Several anti-Christian incidents have caused a stir in Austria, after last week’s terrorist attack by a man shouting Islamist phrases at a cathedral in France.

A 19-year-old Afghan was arrested Monday, and has confessed to striking a religious sister, 76, in the face on Saturday afternoon as she rode a bus in the Austrian city of Graz.

Updates can be found at Catholic News Agency

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