Police officers wounded in Switzerland shooting

Police officers wounded in Switzerland shooting
A gunmen has shot two police officers in Switzerland before turning the gun on himself, authorities said, just a month after three worshipers were injured in a mosque shooting.
2 min read
04 January, 2017
Gun crimes are rare in tranquil Switzerland [AFP]

A gunmen who shot and wounded two police officers in Switzerland on Tuesday, turned the gun on himself during a standoff Swiss authorities have said.

The 33-year-old pulled out a gun as police searched his home in the small north-eastern town of Rehetobel as they looked for a suspected cannabis plantation, police in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden said in a statement.

The gunmen fled but was eventually cornered at a location near his home.

After a standoff lasting several hours, which included negotiations over the telephone, he shot himself, they said.

The man, clad in military clothing, said he had explosives in a rucksack which he threatened to detonate. Authorities confirmed gun publications were found during the police search of his home.

Citizens are allowed to keep their army-issue weapons at home outside periods of mandatory military service.

The law allows any citizen aged over 18 to possess arms under certain conditions and there are an estimated two million weapons in private hands among a population of about eight million.

The shootout had no link to terrorism and gun crime is infrequent in the country, however three Muslims were shot by a 24-year-old Swiss gunmen who stormed into a Zurich mosque last month.

The gunmen, who killed himself after the dusk shooting in the Islamic centre, situated near Zurich's main train station, wounded three worshippers, aged 30, 35 and 56 as they prayed. 

Community tensions in Switzerland have increased in recent years, where the country's growing Muslim population has been subjected to attack by far-right groups and media. In 2009, the country voted in favour of a constitutional ban on new minarets.

In 2009, the country introduced a constitutional ban on the construction of new minarets after a majority of 57.5 percent voted in favour of the legislation in a national referendum