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The Russian embassy in Vienna has opened a hotline for its citizens living in the country, directing those in need of support to consular services. The approximately 5,500-strong Russian community is primarily based in and around the major cities of Vienna and Salzburg.
Locals have been asked to remain indoors as a city-wide manhunt continues for suspects, after several people were arrested and one shot by police overnight. The incident, which left more than a dozen victims with knife and gun wounds, took place outside the city’s main synagogue.
The Islamic Religious Authority of Austria, which represents more than 45,000 Muslims in the country, has condemned the attack, which left it “deeply affected and stunned.”
It comes after a series of terrorist incidents in France, including a knife attack at a church in Nice last week that left three dead. Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron laid out a plan to combat what he described as “Muslim separatism” in Europe.
Tensions between France and the Muslim world have grown after the beheading of a schoolteacher in Paris, allegedly in retribution for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class. Russia is no stranger to dealing with Islamic terrorism, with such high-profile incidents as the Beslan school siege and the 2011 suicide bombing of Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport.
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