Vienna shooting attack: live updates


Religious and political tensions, sometimes without a clear link to Austria, have led to sporadic violence that has killed and injured civilians and politicians.

In 1975, a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in the city was stormed by six men with submachine guns. They killed three people and took at least 60 hostages.

One group that claimed responsibility called the attack “an act of political and information protest” aimed at “the alliance between US imperialism and the reactionary capitulating forces in the Arab homeland.”

In 1981, Heinz Nittel, leader of the Austrian Socialist Party and head of the Austria-Israel Friendship Society, was assassinated outside his home by an assailant associated with a Palestinian militant group.

The synagogues in Vienna have also been attacked. Two people were killed in 1981 when terrorists attacked a temple with grenades and guns. The attack came weeks after two small bombs exploded outside the Israeli embassy.

Immediately after Christmas 1985, panic swept across Vienna Airport when three gunmen stormed the check-in lounge and opened fire with machine guns, killing three people and injuring dozens. Witnesses at the time said the attack began when an El Al Israel Airlines flight was boarded. The attack appeared to be coordinated with another El Al recording 10 minutes earlier in Rome.

From 1993 to 1997, a series of mail bombs and other explosive devices, including one that wounded the mayor of Vienna, stoked fears of a rise in neo-Nazi terrorism in the country. The man who was convicted in the attacks said his aim was to create a reunification of the German-speaking regions.

Melissa Eddy, Christopher F. Schuetze and Katrin Bennhold reported from Berlin. Christoph Koettl, Farnaz Fassihi and Emmett Lindner reported from New York. Livia Albeck-Ripka has contributed reporting from Darwin, Australia, and Joe Ritchie from Hong Kong.


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