At­tacker on Iran em­bassy was of Egyp­tian ori­gin

Tehran Times - - POLITICS -

Aus­trian po­lice say the knife at­tacker who was killed out­side the res­i­dence of Iran’s am­bas­sador to Vi­enna was of Egyp­tian ori­gin.

Ear­lier on Sun­day night, po­lice said a 26-year-old Aus­trian was shot dead out­side the Ira­nian am­bas­sador’s res­i­dence in Vi­enna’s Hi­et­z­ing dis­trict af­ter he at­tacked a se­cu­rity guard as he tried to get past a se­cu­rity guard and en­ter the build­ing.

It said in a Mon­day state­ment that the knife-wield­ing man had fam­ily roots in Egypt.

Aus­trian po­lice spokesman Har­ald So­eros said dur­ing the at­tack, the two men wres­tled on the ground and the at­tacker stabbed the guard “count­less times”.

He said the as­sailant “died on the spot” af­ter the guard shot him four times.

Aus­trian Vice Chan­cel­lor Heinz-Chris­tian Stra­che said the sol­dier had fired “in le­git­i­mate self-de­fense” and had acted “in an ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner, sav­ing his own life.”

Po­lice searched the at­tacker’s Vi­enna home to try and un­der­stand what was be­hind the at­tack, with So­eros say­ing they had “not ruled out, nor con­firmed” any ter­ror­ist mo­ti­va­tion.

Ira­nian For­eign Min­istry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Mon­day that the at­tacker “pos­sesses Aus­trian na­tion­al­ity, and there’s no in­for­ma­tion on his “mo­ti­va­tion for the act.”

Qassemi added that Ira­nian au­thor­i­ties in Tehran and Vi­enna re­main in con­tact with Aus­trian of­fi­cials for more de­tails on the in­ci­dent.

The at­tack came sev­eral hours af­ter Ira­nian Am­bas­sador to Lon­don Hamid Baei­dine­jad an­nounced that he had been threat­ened with death by a mem­ber of an ex­trem­ist re­li­gious group, which re­cently car­ried out an at­tack on the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic’s em­bassy in Lon­don.

Ac­cord­ing to the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic News Agency, IRNA, Bri­tish po­lice did noth­ing to pro­tect the com­pound dur­ing the at­tack.

Iran on Satur­day sum­moned the Bri­tish am­bas­sador to Tehran over the at­tack on its diplo­matic mis­sion in Lon­don.

Sec­re­tary of Iran’s Supreme Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said on Mon­day that the at­tack was a “very dis­grace­ful” bonus by the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment to sweeten a multi-bil­lion dol­lar arms deal with Saudi Ara­bia.

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