Vienna locks down after politician’s assassination

Image copyright EPA Image caption Police officers gathered on the city’s streets

Covid locks have been imposed in Vienna after a suspect, who was wanted in connection with the assassination of a former vice-president in a western city, evaded a police operation.

The lock down is in force in the capital of Austria for a week until the full investigation is completed.

The Federal Police said it was not related to Islamist violence but rather was in the aftermath of the assassination of Heinz Fischer on Saturday in Vorarlberg.

Covid is one of the oldest weapons used by the Austrian Federal Police.

But the force said Saturday’s arrest of an Austrian asylum seeker in Potsdam in Lower Austria was related to the killing of the former vice-president, but not the presence of the lock down.

Heinz Fischer was an adversary of Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime. He left Austria when it was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938.

The pre-dawn police operation near Salzburg failed to locate the 18-year-old suspect, who was apparently still at large on Sunday.

Image copyright EPA Image caption The lockdown was imposed after Saturday’s killing of Heinz Fischer

The lock down, however, meant that thousands of residents had to remain indoors and that emergency services had to take fewer calls.

Sixty helicopters were used to monitor the drone sightings from the sky and set up water and fire rescue teams in case water slides in the city were used as weapons against the police or other residents.

The Bavarian state police in neighbouring Bavaria were also among those involved in the operation.

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