President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades strongly condemned the “heinous attacks” that shook Vienna on Monday night.
"Devastated and deeply shocked by the terrorist attack in Vienna. We strongly condemn such heinous attacks. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the people of Vienna. We stand in solidarity with Austria" the President tweeted on Tuesday.
After a string of attacks in France last week, the Austrian capital was rocked on Monday evening after a multiple gun attack that was spread across six different locations led to four civilian deaths while one gunman armed with an automatic assault rifle was killed by police.
Authorities described the gunman as a 20-year-old “Islamist terrorist” with North Macedonian and Austrian citizenship, who was released early from jail in December 2019 after he was arrested in April that year trying to cross the Turkish border into Syria in view of joining the militant group Isis.
According to foreign media, 17 people were injured during the attacks, of which seven have life-threatening injuries.
The attack, that took place on the eve of a new coronavirus lockdown, was described by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz as an attack motivated by “hatred of our way of life, our democracy”, stressing that Austria was not plummeted into a battle between Christians and Muslims, but "between civilisation and barbarism".
Austrian authorities said they are still uncertain of the exact number of attackers, though several arrests have been made. The army has been deployed in the capital to back up law enforcement, as a widespread search continued on Tuesday.