A Somali refugee caused fear and unrest when he stormed the stage during a children’s Christmas play in Oberndorf, Austria, on Sunday.
The man, who was wearing a long white robe, reportedly jumped on stage while the children were acting out their parts and began shouting. The U.K. Express reported that he shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is greatest”) as he was escorted off the stage by a group of men from the audience.
Before the man was removed from the stage, he pulled a copy of the Quran out of a backpack and began to wave it around.
You can see the man before he is led offstage here:
The man, who was not identified by name, was described as 24 years old and possibly suffering from bipolar disorder.
The children acting in the play were around nursery school age, according to the Express.
“The children are totally anxious and petrified. We were terribly afraid for our children,” a witness said, according to the Express.
The Express also reported that Mayor Rupert Impinger said that many of those in attendance thought the man was part of the performance until he began shouting erratically.
Local reports claimed witnesses were afraid that the man might have had a weapon in his backpack, but an examination of the contents revealed the man was carrying clothing.
Everyone in attendance was lucky the man’s plans didn’t include anything more than jumping on stage, waving a Quran and shouting.
Police officers who arrived at the scene recognized the man as a Somali immigrant who had been living in the area for two years, the Express said.
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