No link to terror, far-right in Zurich shootings – police

Swiss police say the man who shot and injured three people at a Muslim prayer hall was not connected to radical Islam or the far right. The 24-year-old Swiss national committed suicide after the attack.

Schweiz Verletzte durch Schüsse in islamischem Zentrum in Zürich (picture alliance/dpa/AP Photo/E. Leanza)

Zurich’s police chief Christiane Lentjes Meili told a media conference that officers had searched the young man’s home and found no links to extremist Islam or any far-right group.

The 24-year-old Swiss national of partly Ghanaian descent burst into the Islamic Centre in central Zurich around 5.30 pm local time (16:30 UTC) on Monday and began shooting, according to police.

He “fired several shots at the worshippers,” before fleeing, police said.

Three men, aged 30, 35 and 56, were injured, two of them seriously. The suspect then escaped from the mosque in the direction of Central Station,” a police statement on Monday said.

“There are no indications that terrorism was involved,” prosecutor Francoise Stadelmann said, adding that police are still unclear as to the suspect’s motive. But investigators said he “was possibly interested in occultism.”

Schweiz Verletzte durch Schüsse in islamischem Zentrum in Zürich (REUTERS/A. Wiegmann)

Suspect committed suicide

After a short search, police found the suspect’s body a few hundred meters (yards) from the scene on a river bank under a bridge. He appeared to have turned his gun on himself, investigators told Tuesday’s media conference.

The shooting happened just a few hours before a man plowed a truck into a Berlin Christmas market.

Answering questions from the media, a spokesman for Zurich’s cantonal police said there was no indication of a connection between the two incidents.

While not identifying the suspect, investigators said he had stabbed an acquaintance to death over the weekend after an argument. That victim was found on Sunday.

Police said the shooter lived alone and had quit his job at a shop last Friday.

Most of those at the Islamic Centre were from North Africa, Somalia and Eritrea, according to the ATS news agency.

mm/rc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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