Multiple Christian churches in Europe were attacked on Thursday.
A major manhunt is underway after two suspects stormed the Church of Maria Immaculata in Vienna, Austria, in a midday siege that reportedly lasted for hours and left at least five monks badly wounded.
“Around 1:30 pm, two unknown perpetrators raided several religious brothers in the convent church of Maria Immaculata in Strebersdorf,” police said. “The act stretched for several hours, at about 4:05 pm our colleagues discovered the shackled victims, some seriously injured.”
“According to the current state of investigation, at least one of the unknown perpetrators is likely to have demanded valuables and cash. The exact motive is still unclear at the moment, but a possible terror motive can be ruled out.”
Nach dem derzeitigen Ermittlungsstand dürfte zumindest einer der unbekannten Täter Wertgegenstände und Bargeld gefordert haben. Die genaue Motivlage ist derzeit noch unklar, ein mögliches Terrormotiv kann jedenfalls ausgeschlossen werden. #Strebersdorf
— POLIZEI WIEN (@LPDWien) December 27, 2018
Also on Thursday, a bomb blast rocked an Orthodox Church in central Athens, injuring two.
The caretaker of the Orthodox Church of Saint Dionysius alerted police to a suspicious package left on the premises, according to AFP.
Upon inspection by a responding officer, the parcel exploded in a detonation that was described as “powerful” by a cafe worker.
Both the officer and caretaker were hospitalized with injuries.
Police believe the #Athens bomb attack outside Agios Dionysios Church was the work of “apprentice” terrorists & that they are likely young anarchists aiming to upgrade skills & belong to no established group.
— Intelligence Fusion (@IntellFusion) December 28, 2018
“Police believe the Athens bomb attack outside Agios Dionysios Church was the work of ‘apprentice’ terrorists & that they are likely young anarchists aiming to upgrade skills & belong to no established group,” reports Intelligence Fusion. “This is the 2nd Church in Greece targeted with bombs this month.”
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst