Zurich shooting: Three people injured at Islamic centre as suspect's body found nearby

An unidentified attacker entered the Islamic centre where several worshippers were gathered and began firing, Zurich police say

Henry Austin,May Bulman@maybulman
Monday 19 December 2016 18:24
Several injured in Zurich shooting

Three men were badly injured after a gunman opened fire on people praying at an Islamic centre in Zurich.

The unidentified attacker entered the Islamic Centre where several worshippers were gathered at around 5:30pm on Monday (4:30pm GMT) and began firing, Zurich police said in a statement.

He “fired several shots at the worshippers,” police said, adding: “Three men, aged 30, 35 and 56, were injured, some seriously. The suspect then escaped from the mosque in the direction of Central Station."

The suspect was found dead near the scene hours after the attack, police said on Tuesday. The body was reportedly discovered on the river bank underneath a nearby bridge, and had been draped with a white sheet.

Witnesses described the gunman as a man aged about 30 wearing dark clothes and a dark woollen cap, according to Al Jazeera.

Zurich cantonal police said authorities had identified the suspect, but gave no details. A news conference was scheduled for 1pm GMT on Tuesday.

Police have urged witnesses who were in the area around the time of the shooting to come forward. The motive for the shooting was still unclear.

Around a dozen people were inside the prayer hall at the time of the attack, the ATS news agency reported, adding a prayer service had been scheduled for 4:45pm local time.

The worshippers were mainly from North Africa, Somalia and Eritrea, according to ATS.

A number of Swiss mosques, including one near Zurich and the main one in Geneva, have in recent months been accused in local media of allowing or encouraging the “radicalisation” of their worshippers..

Attacks by armed gunmen are rare in Switzerland.

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