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Three injured as gunman storms Zurich mosque

A gunman dressed in black has stormed into the prayer hall of a mosque frequented by Somali immigrants and opened fire, wounding three people before fleeing, police in Zurich said.

Officers who rushed to the scene in a central neighbourhood known for trendy cafes and the city's red-light district are also investigating the discovery of a body at nearby Gessner bridge over the Sihl River, police spokesman Marco Bisa said.

Authorities are not considering the attack as terrorism, he said. Police also said it was too early to determine whether there might be any link to an incident in Berlin, where a truck rammed into a Christmas market.

"The unknown person fired several shots and fled from the building," Mr Bisa told reporters near the mosque, which was cordoned off by police.

"The shooting took place inside a prayer room with several people in it. Two victims were severely injured."

Mr Bisa said the injured were aged 30, 35 and 56, but did not specify their nationalities. He said witnesses described the attacker as clad head to foot in black, and he was believed to be aged about 30.

At the scene, Abukav Abshirow, a 30-year-old Somali man who works at a Zurich car dealership, said his friend was among the injured. He recalled how they had celebrated a religious occasion at the centre the night before.

"I am under shock," he said. "We've had great times here. The atmosphere was always friendly and happy at the centre.

"I am very, very sad this happened. We never had problems here before. We spend the weekend here with our children in peace.

"I am waiting to find out what happened, and who is responsible."

Attacks by gunmen are rare in Switzerland, although the country was shaken in 2013 by at least two multiple-fatality shootings.

The country has a long-standing tradition for men to keep their military rifles after completing compulsory military service - which partly explains a high rate of gun ownership in the country of about 8.2 million people.



From Belfast Telegraph