Gunman in Switzerland flees after injuring police

GENEVA: Swiss police said yesterday they had located but not yet detained a “dangerous” gunman who fled after injuring two officers carrying out a house search. Police stressed the incident had no link to terrorism. A 33-year-old man opened fire as police were conducting a house search in the town of Rehtobel, regional police in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden said in a statement.

The police officers had suffered unspecified injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment, the statement said. A local woman told the Blick daily she saw “two people lying on the ground”.

She said numerous police vehicles were at the scene and said police had closed off the main highway. An initial police statement warned that he was likely armed and considered “dangerous”. In a follow-up statement, police said they had located the shooter, but a spokesman told a local radio station they had yet to arrest the man.

Usually tranquil Switzerland is relatively unaccustomed to gun-related crimes. This is despite having one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, since 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 Switzerland’s population of about eight million. – AFP

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