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Austria: Four women and a girl killed in Vienna in 24 hours - BBC News

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Austria: Four women and a girl killed in Vienna in 24 hours

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The side of an Austrian police carIMAGE SOURCE, REUTERS
Image caption,
The authorities are investigating the motives for both of the unrelated incidents

Police in Vienna are investigating the deaths of four women and a teenage girl in a 24-hour period.

Three women were stabbed to death by a man in a brothel in Austria's capital on Friday. A suspect was arrested.

Another woman and her daughter were killed in an unrelated incident. Investigators believe the girl's father was responsible.

Campaigners described the day as "Black Friday" and called for urgent action to stop violence against women.

The bodies of three women were found in a building in the central Brigittenau district at around 21:00 local time (20:00 GMT) after a witness called the emergency services.

The suspect, whom police have described as a 27-year-old Afghan national, was found hiding near the brothel with a knife in his hand.


The motive for the killings is currently unclear but the man has been questioned.

Earlier on Friday, a 51-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter were found dead in an apartment in the Erdberg area - about 12km (seven miles) from where the other incident happened.

There is no suggestion they are connected.

Police are still searching for the woman's husband, who is also the girl's father, as investigators suspect he may have strangled or choked them to death.

"The initial investigations, which are currently under way, indicate that blunt force was involved," said police spokesman Philip Hasslinger.

Eva-Maria Holzleitner, the leader of the women's policy department of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SPO), has urged the federal government to call a crisis meeting to discuss the issue of femicide in the country.

"We mourn the murdered women, are thinking about the survivors and call for a national action plan to protect against violence to finally be implemented in order to protect women's lives in Austria," said Ms Holzleitner.

Klaudia Frieben, leader of umbrella organisation the Austrian Women's Ring (OFR), wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that "this day will go down in history as Black Friday with five dead women".

According to the latest data on femicide rates in Austria, published by the Institute of Conflict Research, some 319 women were killed in the country between 2010 and 2020 - mostly by male partners or ex-partners.

The coalition government has vowed to crack down on the issue - pledging almost €25m (£21m) in 2021 to initiatives aimed at protecting women against violence.