A number of monks have been injured, some seriously, in a brazen, broad daylight attack on a church in Vienna which the authorities are describing as a “robbery”.
Law enforcement say two attackers, for whom no descriptions have been issued, broke into the Maria Immaculata church around 1:30 p.m., beginning an ordeal which lasted for several hours.
Officers say they found five monks “shackled” shortly after 4 o’clock in the afternoon, one with serious injuries.
“According to the current state of investigation, at least one of the unknown perpetrators is likely to have demanded valuables and cash,” they confirmed on social media.
“The exact motive is still unclear at the moment, but a possible terror motive can be ruled out,” they claimed.
Gegen 13.30 überfielen derzeit 2 unbekannte Täter mehrere Ordensbrüder in der Klosterkirche Maria Immaculata in #Strebersdorf. Die Tat streckte sich über mehrere Stunden, gegen 16:17 Uhr entdeckten unsere KollegInnen die gefesselten und teils schwer verletzen Opfer.
— POLIZEI WIEN (@LPDWien) December 27, 2018
As of approximately 5 p.m. GMT, the church remained sealed and subject to a thorough search, with Austrian police explaining that “as it is a larger building complex [it] cannot currently be ruled out that perpetrators or victims are still in the building”.
The search was lifted around 6 p.m. GMT, having proven unsuccessful, although the area in the immediate vicinity of the church remains cordoned off pending further investigation.
The unidentified perpetrators remain at large.
This story is developing…