‘Suffocating’: Europe on a knife’s edge after latest terror attack

Just days after a deadly knife attack that left three people dead, including a woman who was decapitated at a church in the French city of Nice, police have confirmed multiple people have been injured and at least one killed after a shooting in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

The shooting took place just hours before the midnight start of a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The extreme measures in Austria are among several lockdowns being imposed across Europe, including in France, where 67 million have just entered a second lockdown as tens of thousands contract the virus across the continent.

RELATED: Vienna synagogue shooting: Active shooter situation in Austria

Armed police patrol at a passage near the opera in central Vienna. Picture: JOE KLAMAR / AFP.Source:AFP

Forensic officers work at night in front of Notre Dame Basilica on October 29, 2020 in Nice where a man armed with a knife fatally attacked three people in the church. Picture: Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

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RELATED: President Macron faces backlash in the wake of French terror attacks

In the wake of two terrorist attacks in France – the first being the brutal attack in Paris when a Muslim teen beheaded a schoolteacher in the streets of Paris and then the deaths in Nice – President Emmanuel Macron declared his country “under attack”.

“We will not give in, ever,” he wrote on Twitter.

“We respect all differences in a spirit of peace. We do not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate. We will always be on the side of human dignity and universal values.”

In the hours following the unfolding attack in Vienna, President Macron took to social media to send his support to Austria, writing that the shooting brought “shock and sadness” to his country.

“We, the French, share the shock and sadness of the Austrians after an attack in Vienna,” he wrote on Twitter.

“After France, it is a friendly country that is under attack. This is our Europe. Our enemies need to know who they are dealing with. We won’t give in to anything.”

Wir, Franzosen, teilen den Schock und die Trauer von der Österreicher nach einer Angriff in Wien. Nach Frankreich ist es ein befreundetes Land, das angegriffen wird. Dies ist unser Europa. Unsere Feinde müssen wissen, mit wem sie es zu tun haben. Wir werden nichts nachgeben.

But the growing spate of lethal attacks as more and more countries across the continent enter lockdown has inevitably put Europe on edge.

“What is wrong with world,” one person commented on Twitter following the Austrian attack.

“Two weeks ago a history teacher was throttled in France, a few days ago an attack took place in my hometown (Nice) and a victim died in my favourite cafe and tonight an attack in Vienna at the exact spot where I was standing just two days ago. I’m absolutely suffocating,” another added.

“Honestly WTF has been happening in Europe the past few days. Terrorist attacks in several different countries … This is just too sad,” another added.

Europe is under attack and nobody calls a spade a spade. #Paris #Nice #Dresden #Vienna

Sad to hear what is happening in Vienna at the moment.
Nice last week.
When will this madness end…

What is wrong with world … #Paris #Nice #Quebec and now #Vienna

Two weeks ago a history teacher was throttled in France, a few days ago an attack took place in my hometown (Nice) and a victim died in my favorite café and tonight an attack in Vienna at the exact spot where I was standing just two days ago. I'm absolutely suffocating.

Couple of days ago it was France (Nice) today it’s in Vienna..

First the church in Nice, now the synagogue in Vienna. Praying for the victims of tonight's terrorist attack and sending my love to the Jewish community 🙏🏻 #Vienna #ViennaAttack

honestly wtf has been happening in Europe the past few days. Terrorist attacks in several different countries (Nice France, Vienna Switzerland, etc) and no one bats an eye. This is just too sad

This is the 3rd terrorist attack in Europe in 2 weeks. Nice, Lyon and now Vienna. Unreal. https://t.co/vElHn1dL1n

Experts say President Macron’s response to the attacks in France, and his government’s position to defended the right to publish derogatory religious caricatures, has resulted in angry protests and calls to boycott French products across the globe.

About 2,000 people tried to march toward the French Embassy in Islamabad but were pushed back by police firing tear gas and beating protesters with batons.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted on Sunday that Mr Macron chose “to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists”, while protesters chanted slogans including “beheading is the only punishment for blasphemers”.

Armed police arrive at the first district near the state opera in central Vienna on November 2, 2020, following a shooting near a synagogue. Picture: by JOE KLAMAR / AFP.Source:AFP

In an address to the nation following the Nice attacks, Mr Macron blamed the attacks on “Islamist separatism” and “the creation of a (Muslim) counter-society” in France, which remains on the highest level of alert.

He said the growing Muslim presence was a danger to France because it held its own laws above all others.

Mr Macron said that some Muslim parents kept their children out of school, group sports and community activities as a “pretext to teach principles that do not conform to the laws of the republic”.

French soldiers of the Sentinelle force patrol in front of the church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray two days after a knife attacker killed three people at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice. Picture: THOMAS COEX / POOL / AFP.Source:AFP

To stop this, the president announced his plans to pass a legislative proposal that would essentially ban homeschooling for children of all ages and prevent foreign-trained imams from leading French mosques.

The goal, the president said, was “to build an Islam in France that can be compatible with the Enlightenment”.

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