Four people seriously injured in Vienna knife attacks

An officer blocks a street while police search for a knife attacker – AP

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Four people were seriously injured in two knife attacks in one district of the Austrian capital Vienna on Wednesday evening but any motive or connection between the assaults was unclear, a police spokesman said.

The stabbings – the first of which took place at 6.45pm (GMT), occurred in Vienna’s Second District, which includes the famous Prater park as well as the Praterstern transport hub. It also houses much of Vienna’s small Jewish community.

“A man attacked a family – a father, a mother and their 17-year-old daughter – with a knife. The three people were seriously injured and their lives are in danger,” the spokesman said.

“And half an hour later there was another attack … at Praterstern and here a person was also seriously injured and their life is in danger. We do not know to what extent there is a connection here and any motive remains unclear,” he said.

Police cordon off the area of the attack Credit: Ronald Zak/AP

Witness Silvia Franke said she was about 100 metres away when the incident happened.

“I saw how someone in the middle of the street was screaming and shouting – I thought he was beating his dog judging from his hand movements,” she said. “And in reality he was stabbing this man.”

“He could have stabbed me as well had I been there by chance,” Franke said. “He had lost all control.” 

Another knife attack shortly afterwards in the same area seriously wounded a 20-year-old Chechen, Mr Maierhofer said, adding a male with Afghan nationality had been arrested.

Officers were investigating whether the two attacks are linked.

Vienna has not experienced deadly attacks by Islamist militant like the ones that have struck Paris, Berlin and Brussels since 2015.


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